Learning Opportunities 2021
1. "Nature as Teacher" Series
First Light Farm & Learning Center’s
Popular 4-Week Online Course
January class - FULL
Thursdays, March 4, 11, 18 & 25, 7:00-8:30 pm PST (Open)
We are in a time where massive changes are needed in almost every sector of our lives. So much is changing and yet so much still needs to change if we’re to create a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. But what happens if that change needs to take place first within ourselves?
First Light Farm’s 4-part zoom series, “Nature as Teacher: Transforming How We View Our Role in the World” takes participants on a deeply personal and intellectual exploration to develop new knowledge, reconnect with the beauty and wisdom of the human heart, understand the earth-friendly values inherent nature’s natural living systems, and develop an inclusive world view that promotes a sustainable future where your talents and personal passion can make a difference.
This course also requires additional time for personal reflection, reading, and viewing articles and videos. Participants will be encouraged to authentically engage with others in a safe, small group. Limited to 8 Participants.
Facilitator: Jane Lister Reis, First Light Farm & Learning Center Owner/Farmer, College Educator, and Retreat Leader specializing in personal growth and healing.
Cost: At the completion of the course, participants will be asked to make a donation of any amount to First Light Farm & Learning Center, based on the quality of their experience and the knowledge gained that helps them live more a more sustainable, interconnected life in relationship with the Earth and others. All gifts will help support the regenerative work of the farm in combating climate change.
Comment from a former participant:
“In this time of fear and isolation, facing a pandemic, systemic racism and the climate crisis, the hours [we] spent together on Zoom brought each of us a strong sense of community. It’s truly amazing how quickly we could forget that we were each in our own space, brought together through the gift of technology… Sign up and treat yourself to an adventure in learning!” To sign up or to learn more about the courses below, email email@example.com.
2. First Light Farm's Learning Circle (Zoom)
Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25
Our first book will be "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants" (Milkweed Editions, 2013) by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I think you'll find that this book has valuable insights for us based on the author's ability to weave scientific knowledge, indigenous teachings and the wisdom of plant life to show us how a relational worldview, one deeply grounded in nature's wisdom, must replace our current extraction economic model if we are to survive. The author, who also published "Gathering Moss" (which was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing) is a mother, scientist, professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY, and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
For folks who join as members of First Light Farm ($35.00 annual fee), the Learning Circle is offered at no cost as part of the First Light Farm membership benefits. The cost for non-members: $15.00. Everyone will need to purchase their own book.
Participants will need to have read the first 97 pages by our first Zoom discussion on Thursday, February 4th at 7:00 pm. Participants should plan on reading approximately 100 pages a week for the 4-week discussion.
We will use a seminar method for discussion which encourages everyone to select specific passages to discuss each week. This method of discussion encourages critical thinking, personal reflection, and social inclusion to create a most amazing way of delving deeply into a book's message and teachings.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in participating. I hope you can join us!
Link for joining as a member of First Light Farm for the 2021 season: https://firstlightfarm-upick.square.site/
3. First Light Farm's 2nd Learning Circle (Zoom)
Alternate Thursday evenings, 7-8:30 pm
Thursdays, March 11 & 25, April 8 & 22
In our 2nd Learning Circle, we will be reading the amazing book, "The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday" by Dr. Sharon Blackie.
"I believe that enchantment is an attitude of mind which can be cultivated, a way of approaching the world which anyone can learn to adopt: the enchanted life is possible for everybody. In this book I’ll share with you my own experiences, and the experiences of several men and women from around the world, as they demonstrate how we can bring enchantment into every aspect of our daily lives. Because enchantment, by my definition, has nothing to do with fantasy, or escapism, or magical thinking: it is founded on a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world; a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life (Introduction, Dr. Sharon Blackie, "The Enchanted Life")
This is a very accessible, beginner's guide to "re-enchantment" with the natural world. Let's explore this journey into enchantment together.
Cost: At the completion of the course, participants will be asked to make a donation of any amount to First Light Farm & Learning Center, based on the quality of their experience and the knowledge gained that helps them live a more sustainable, interconnected life in relationship with the Earth and others. All gifts will help support the regenerative work of the farm in combating climate change.
Facilitator: Rachel Van Boven. Rachel has been an educator for 18 years, and has been a practicing Quaker for nearly a decade. She has trained with Joseph Cornell and has led multiple workshops on connecting with nature. She believes that when we come together in community, we can learn, create, and reveal different ways of relating to Earth so that we can live in reciprocity with all of life. Interested in joining us? Email email@example.com to sign up.