Find our Christmas greeting (our first web site slide show) here, with design and calligraphy by our artist-friend, Deborah Dyer.
Returning to our practice in the first years of the Desert Foundation, we are posting our Caravans newsletters on our web site. You may find our 2011 Caravans here. Thank you for your interest in our simple life of prayer, study, land stewardship, and dialogue.
Easter greetings from the Desert Foundation! Don't forget to sign up for Tessa's workshop on desert spirituality June 10-12 in Boulder, Colorado. And we are happy to announce that Fr. Dave will be chaplain for Image magazine's Glen Workshop East at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts June 12-19. Please join us in one of these events.
Visit our new History page to see what we have accomplished in our first five years.
With uprisings in North Africa and turbulence in other Middle Eastern countries,
Fr. Dave Denny reflects on the hope of an alliance, not a clash, between Muslims and Christians in Egypt.
If you want to learn more about Israel, Palestine, and the extraordinary efforts of Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers, sign up for the 2011 Sabeel Seeking Understanding In Israel/Palestine fact-finding trip, June 4-18. Fr. Dave Denny and Tessa Bielecki made this trip in 2007 and found it life-changing and inspiring.
Join Tessa Bielecki in Boulder, Colorado June 10-12 for "Inner Stillness: The Wisdom of the Desert."
Enjoy our Christmas greeting, which includes reflections from Tessa Bielecki on Mother of God Similar to Fire, a beautiful new book of icons by William Hart McNichols with text by Mirabai Starr.
Have you kept up with the controversy about a proposed Muslim center in
lower Manhattan, near Ground Zero? Whether or not you have followed this
story, you may find Fr. Dave
Denny's contribution to the conversation informative and thought-provoking.
It's a contemporary reflection on the age-old question, "Who is my
neighbor?" (Luke 10:29).
Tessa and Fr. Dave are attending a Teachers' Institute at Dar al-Islam
in Abiquiu, New Mexico, July 11-24. They are blogging about it here blog.desertfound.org.
Share their experience as they learn about the history, teachings and
cultures of Islam.
Easter Greetings from
the Desert Foundation!
Meet musician Karsten Klemme and allow his "Shifting Light" video to draw you into the mystery
of the desert during this season of Lent.
If you would like to learn firsthand more about Israel, Palestine, and
the quest for a just peace there, consider joining Sabeel
Colorado's annual two-week fact-finding trip, May 15-29.
If you live in the Denver-Boulder neighborhood, mark your calendar for
April 16-17, when Tessa Bielecki gives a workshop on "Sand
and Sea: from the Desert to the Celts," sponsored by Contemplative
Outreach of Boulder.
Savor photographs of our Sand and Sky
retreat, which took place in September at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu,
Merry Christmas from The
Meet author, teacher, and translator Mirabai
Starr, who has introduced a new generation to the writings of Spanish
mystics St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.
Take a break with Tessa Bielecki and New Dimensions Radio to explore "A
Wild and Laughing God," Tessa's conversation with New Dimensions
host Justine Willis Toms.
Tessa also reviews Jerusalem
Sky: Stars, Crosses, and Crescents, by Mark Podwal: an excellent
holiday gift book for children.
Fr. Dave Denny reviews Holy
Land: Common Ground,
a film by Edward Gaffney and Alicia Dwyer documenting heartbreaking
yet hopeful encounters between grieving Israelis and Palestinians.
In The Tent of Meeting,
Fr. Dave Denny reflects on President Obama's June 4 speech in Cairo with
the hope that it may bring Jews, Christians, and Muslims closer to a "communion
that allows each community to fulfill its identity and destiny ... in
a symbiosis that allows each to flourish not in spite of but because of
our cross-fertilizing humility and wisdom."
Fr. Dave Denny reviews Amir
Hussain's Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God, a Muslim reflection
on Muslim-Christian relations especially in North America. Fr. Dave's
review includes practical suggestions from Hussain on how to develop respectful
friendships with Muslim neighbors.
Find out about “Sand
and Sky,” our first Desert Foundation pilgrimage-retreat. It
takes place August 31-September 5 at Ghost Ranch’s Casa del Sol
in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Register today! Space is limited.
Fr. Dave Denny reviews Belden
Lane’s The Solace of Fierce Landscapes, an excellent book to
read before the pilgrimage-retreat, or pack it and read it during your
“desert oasis” time in New Mexico!
As you see on the left-hand side of your screen, we have three new features
on our site.
- The “Reviews” button takes you to book
and movie reviews. Fr. Dave Denny initiates the feature with a review
of Egyptian-born writer Leila Ahmed’s memoir, Border Passages.
- In order to stay abreast of new additions to our site, you may now
subscribe to our new "Desert Tracks" brief
periodic updates in one of two ways:
- Email Newsletter: Simply fill out the subscription
form on the top left of the site. Note: you will receive
an email with instructions that you must follow in order to complete
your subscription. Your privacy is assured in that we will
never sell or share your address with anyone.
- RSS Feed: Simply click the RSS button on the
top left of the site and add our feed to your preferred feed-reader/news
- Fr. Dave’s new Tent
of Meeting article celebrates milestones in Abrahamic dialogues
- And finally, you may now donate to the Desert Foundation simply by
clicking the “Donate” button on the bottom
left, which will direct you to PayPal’s secure site. The Desert
Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Please help support
our circle of friends as we explore the wisdom of the world’s
deserts and build bridges between the three Abrahamic traditions.
Coming soon: Plan to attend our first Desert
Foundation Retreat at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, August
31-September 5, 2009! Subscribe to Desert Tracks and
be among the first to learn details.
Merry Christmas from The
During Ramadan, our Tent
of Meeting brings together a Christian deacon and a Muslim Sufi minister
to address questions about Islam.
Join Tessa Bielecki in September
in Hamburg, Germany or Fort Collins, Colorado. Or find out about her pilgrimage
to Ireland in May 2009.
Easter greetings from the Desert
Foundation! Enjoy artist Deborah Dyer's vision of an ancient Easter hymn.
If you wish to observe present conditions in Israel and Palestine firsthand,
join friends of Sabeel–Colorado June 14-28, 2008
for Seeking Understanding
in Israel/Palestine: A Two-Week Fact-Finding Trip.
The Desert Foundation’s Fr. Dave Denny and Tessa Bielecki participated
in Sabeel’s 2007 trip. We experienced the heroism of Israeli and
Palestinian peacemakers and developed a deep bond with our fellow voyagers.
Read Tessa Bielecki’s account of the trip, “Jerusalem,
Jerusalem …” and share her experience of the meaning of
the trip and the human encounters that left her “profoundly changed.”
For more information on this year’s trip, please contact:
Joy Lapp at 303-494-2338, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Desert Foundation co-founder Tessa Bielecki June 6-8
at Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado for Walking
the Tightrope: Navigating Life’s Tensions Creatively.
Work and play, service and celebration, solitude and community—explore
how to balance the polarities in our lives by looking at the lives of
the Christian mystics. Visit Shambhala
Mountain Center’s web site for more information.
During the forty days of Lent Tessa Bielecki looks back on forty
years of gardening and composting. It's a good time of year to ponder
how compost "grows such sweet things," according to Walt Whitman, "out
of such corruptions."
Fr. Dave Denny reviews Three
Cups of Tea, the tale of an American mountaineer’s mission
to promote peace through education in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
View a special Egyptian
Christmas greeting from the Desert Foundation.
During the winter months, many of us take time to look back at the previous
year and forward to the next. Follow
Tessa Bielecki through the four seasons as she ponders the meaning
and beauty of “our outer landscape and inner soulscape.”
Fr. Dave Denny welcomes you to his hermitage and reflects on the Abrahamic
art that surrounds him in the Tent
of Meeting. Our latest Walls
and Bridges feature introduces Amal Elsana Alh'jooj, an Israeli Bedouin
feminist developing partnerships in Israel between Jews and Muslims.
One year after Muslim scholars criticized remarks about Islam Pope Benedict
XVI made in September 2006, an even larger group of Muslim scholars has
written an open letter, “A
Common Word between Us and You” to Christian leaders throughout
the world. See Fr. Dave Denny’s
reflections on the current letter, which acknowledges that love of
God and neighbor are central pillars of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
As Halloween approaches, some American Christians question the appropriateness
of the holiday. In her reflections on The
Jack-o-Lantern and Jesus, Tessa Bielecki encourages us to celebrate
the power of the risen Christ who overcame the devil and the power of
evil, the power of fear and death. The Jack-o-Lantern glows, she declares,
with the light of Christ.
Join Tessa Bielecki for the 2nd
Annual Celebration of Celtic Spirituality in La Veta, Colorado September
29th, 2007. Tessa will offer reflections on common themes in the Desert
Fathers and Mothers and Ireland’s early Celtic Christians. Learn
more about this autumn weekend celebration at the base of southern Colorado’s
Fr. Dave Denny was honored as “artist of the month” by “Image
Update” and Image
Journal’s web site. “Father Dave demonstrates in his life
and writing that a call to the desert is also a call to the world,”
writes Image’s managing editor Mary Kenagy, “that an earnest
seeking after God in silence and emptiness is the natural corollary to
a profound, intimate love of the created order, and that beautiful work
of human hands is not an impediment to the soul's stillness but a pathway
September 15 is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. One of Fr. Dave’s
early poems is based on a fourteenth century devotion to the Sorrowful
Mother. To aid your reflections on the feast, you may wish to read his
Seven Sorrows of Mary,” with art by Santa Fe santera Arlene