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Events & Retreats

Upcoming Events

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Past Special Events
Past Events

In support of our commitment to encouraging inner work to deepen presence, open-hearted kindness, and caring connection, we bring noted spiritual teachers to Shallowford each year.

The Beautiful not yet ... Living on the Growing Edge
A Retreat Day with singer-songwriter-poet, Carrie Newcomer 

Feb 24, 2024

Shallowford Church Campus


Carrie Newcomer is described as a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe and one who “asks all the right questions” by Rolling Stone Magazine. Carrie will lead us as we explore possibilities for holding personal and world challenges in creative and life-giving ways. Through music, poetry, reflective writing, and conversation, we’ll ponder:

  • What helps one to maintain hope?

  • What keeps us resilient? 

  • How do we live authentic lives?

  • Where are our growing edges?

  • How do we maintain steadfastness in the process?​

“Hope is holding in creative tension everything that is with what could and should be, and every day taking some action to narrow the distance between the two.” –Parker J. Palmer


Carrie Newcomer

Here’s a glimpse into the impact of our first ever annual event, led by best-selling author and poet, Mark Nepo.

The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom that Waits in the Heart
November 18-19, 2022 

What participants are saying about the retreat:


—Thank you … for the gift of bringing Mark Nepo to Atlanta. I'm full of gratitude and joy after being in the presence of the other souls who were also called there.I cannot think of a more piercing, tender truth illuminator than Mark, and having spent those hours in his company I was beyond moved and set aglow!


… like a warm and cozy blanket … such a meaningful time of connection and warm-heartedness, vulnerability and love. 


—How wonderful to hear someone that touched my soul and filled it with such joy, wonder, love and hope.


—Those two days were life-changing and life-saving in so many ways…I’ve returned to so many of the ideas Mark shared, and my beloved and I have had many meaningful conversations based on those Mark Nepo “pearls of wisdom.”  I am eternally grateful for this experience! 


Mark Nepo, in dialogue with Kay Stewart during one of our “free and open sessions” during this 2022 special event, shares a poem  and illuminates poems as teachers, speaking to the way poetry often marries what is with what can be.



Play Video

Every generation and tradition discovers, again and again, that our spiritual journey on Earth is not to strive from here to there, but to unfold from in to out. - Mark Nepo


Listen here to Mark Nepo’s meditation “Heartwork: Being a Spirit in the World,” offered during the Sunday, November 20, 2022, worship service at Shallowford Church.

Mark Nepo

More about Mark Nepo


As seen on Oprah — poet, philosopher, and beloved teacher, Mark Nepo has been breaking a path of  spiritual inquiry for more than forty years. Based on several of his books, this workshop will explore how we might truly inhabit the one life we’re given: by getting closer to life, loving what you do, finding what can last, and by being kind and useful. Drawn from his years of teaching, Nepo explores how our hard work and authenticity ready us for meaning and grace. Using ancient and contemporary stories, poetry, journaling, and dialogue, he unfolds how our sincerity and labor help us to survive and thrive.


By fully living the one life we’re given, we’re led to the wisdom that waits in our heart. There is no other way. To make the most of being here, we’re required to learn when to try and when to let go. This is our initiation into grace. The gift and practice of being human centers on the effort to restore what matters and, when in trouble, to make good use of our heart. No one quite knows how to do this, but learn it we must. Our path to love and truth depend on this journey.

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