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Take the Time for Creative Writing

September 29, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, a certified Amherst Writers and Artists leader, offers two opportunities this season to gather with others and develop your writing skills.

Taking my Time for Creative Writing takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, October 13, 2018. The workshop allows participants the time to develop their writing as an artistic expression, a means of communication with family and friends, and a source of healing for the inner life.

Waiting for the Muse as We Write, offered from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018, inspires participants to begin a steady commitment to the art of writing, whether the muse calls to you at the moment or not.

Both workshops are designed for writers who are beginning or experienced. The cost of $50 for each session includes lunch. Registration is required.

To register, visit www.webercenter.org and click on “programs.” Registrations may also be made by contacting Weber Center at 517-266-4000 or webercenter@adriandominicans.org.

Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center. For information, call the Weber Center at 517-266-4000.


Barry and Siena Heights University Students Share Environmental Leadership Experience

June 5, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Rain gardens, berms and swales, Permaculture, eco-systems, zero waste, watersheds, bio-regions, planting guilds – this is the language of a two-week summer program for selected Barry University and Siena Heights University students as they explore and experience the environment and learn to work with and for nature.

Now in its second year, the Environmental Leadership Experience brought a disparate group of students to the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse May 13-27, 2018. Through team work, hands-on work, talks, meditation, and tours of local sustainability efforts, the students learn about eco-systems and the principles and practices of Permaculture, a system of learning from and working with the systems of nature in designing and implementing agriculture.

Pictured right: Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, and Sabrina Meli transfer worms and compost from the original vermicomposting container to the newly built system assembled by the Environmental Leadership Experience students.

The program is coordinated by Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, Director of the Congregation’s Sustainability Office; Elaine Johnson, Permaculture Specialist for the Adrian Dominican Sisters; and Sister Carol Coston, OP, founding Director of Permaculture. Both Siena Heights and Barry Universities collaborate in the program. Speakers included Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation and former Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence; and staff members from local sustainability sites that students visited.

Participants spent much of their time outdoors, working in the permaculture area of the Motherhouse. Service projects included installing deer fencing around the community garden; conducting a waste audit of the Motherhouse; planting an edible forest garden; and building a vermiculture system, in which worms are used to compost organic waste. In a blog, students described their experience and what they’d learned.

A key experience for Pa Sheikh Ngom, a Barry University international business major from Gambia in West Africa, came toward the end of the experience. “We saw everything we talked about [earlier in the experience] come together.” After spending their time drawing sketches of a garden, the students had the opportunity to plant trees and shrubs. 

But along with specific skills needed to work in agriculture and to be good stewards of the environment, the students learned to think in a new way about the environment and about life.

“As humans we impose so much on our surroundings – but nature was already there,” said Ashley Ferguson, a Master’s of Social Work candidate at Barry University. “Now I understand that you can look to nature to learn how to build.” She hopes to use some of what she learned in the program to enhance her own garden.

Participants spread straw and plant perennials in the newly installed rain garden on the east-side of the Dominican Life Center parking lot. Rain gardens help slow storm-water runoff on paved surfaces, also known as "planting the rain."

The daily practice of meditation and opportunities to speak to the Sisters also gave the students inspiration and a new perspective. Matthew Mohammed, a business and mathematics major at Barry, said the experience “motivated and inspired me to want to travel more. [The Sisters] showed me that there’s more to life than the simple problems we go through every day.” Matthew said he also learned to appreciate the beauty around him – whether the buildings in Miami or the natural surroundings in Michigan.

The students – most of whom had never met one another before the Environmental Leadership Experience – came to see themselves as part of a team.  

“Through this experience, we have developed a deeper understanding of what the term ‘sustainability’ truly means, and learned that simple changes, big and small, can be quite effective at making a difference,” wrote Stephanie Bingham, Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Barry University, in her blog entry. “In the process, we have also built strong alliances in our quest for creating a more sustainable future for ourselves and those who come after us. … We leave this experience inspired to do our small parts in raising the level of consciousness surrounding more sustainable and ecologically responsible approaches.”

 

 

 


 

 

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