Work That Reconnects Facilitator Development Retreat


with Anne Symens-Bucher and Terry Symens-Bucher

A two-day development program for those interested in facilitating the Work That Reconnects as developed by Joanna Macy

Residential weekend: July 12,13,14

We live in the time of both the Great Turning (the shift from the industrial growth society to one that is life sustaining) and the Great Unraveling of our our ecological and other systems, portending near-term societal collapse and threatening all of life on Earth. The Work That Reconnects, developed by root teacher Joanna Macy, helps us respond to this time of  planetary crisis. These practices and interactive group work, drawn from deep ecology, living systems theory, and spiritual traditions, grows our courage, resilience, and solidarity for the healing of our world. It helps clarify survival skills needed for navigating the Great Unraveling, as well as the unique roles we each can play in the Great Turning. 

This weekend-long residential retreat is for people who are familiar with the work that reconnects and wish to facilitate workshops for others.

The best starting point for training to facilitate the work that reconnects is to experience as a participant first.

Before undertaking this training, we recommend that you read ‘Coming Back to Life’ by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown Young so you are familiar with the practices and concepts.




Aims of the Work That Reconnects:

The central purpose of the Work That Reconnects is to bring us back into relationship with each other and with the self-healing powers in the web of life, motivating and empowering us to reclaim  our lives, our communities, and our planet from corporate and colonial rule.

In order to do this, the Work That Reconnects:

  • Provides practices and perspectives drawn from systems science, Deep Ecology, and many spiritual traditions that elicit our existential connectivity with the web of life through space and time.
  • Reframes our pain for the world as evidence of our mutual belonging in a relational universe, and hence our power to take action on behalf of life.
  • Awakens stamina and buoyancy to live with full awareness of both the Great Turning and the Great Unraveling, historically and in present time, and to embrace the uncertainty.
  • Awakens us to the systemic injustice, racism, and oppression of the Industrial Growth Society, and generates our commitment to transform all our institutions for the benefit of all humans, whatever their color, culture, religion, gender identity, and history.
  • Affirms that our intention to act for the sake of all beings, and to become allies to all oppressed or marginalized people, can become organizing principles of our lives.
  • Helps us identify the strengths and resources we can mobilize in our commitment to the self-healing of the world.
  • Presents the Great Turning as a challenge that every one of us, in collaboration with others, is fully capable of meeting in our own distinctive ways.

About the Facilitators:

Anne Symens-Bucher is an American of Irish descent who is honored to have the opportunity to be on Irish soil offering a body of work that has profoundly shaped and formed her own life. She was first introduced to the work of Joanna Macy in 1984, and currently serves as her executive assistant. For many years she traveled extensively with Joanna and participated in more than fifty Work That Reconnects workshops and intensives, both as Joanna’s student and co-facilitator. Through this close working relationship with Joanna, Anne has gained a deep understanding of the Work That Reconnects and has embraced its tenets in her own work as an activist and community leader involved in work for justice, peace, nuclear disarmament, nonviolence, and ecological sustainability for more than 40 years.

Terry Symens-Bucher has been facilitating the Work That Reconnects for several years, primarily within the Canticle Farm community as well as in Illuman, a global organization that continues the men’s rites of passage work begun by Richard Rohr, Franciscan priest, spiritual teacher and author. Terry holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Franciscan School of Theology and a law degree from the University of California.

Anne and Terry are the parents of five children and the co-founders of Canticle Farm, an intentional community in Oakland, California. Canticle Farm is rooted in the Work That Reconnects, Franciscan spirituality, nonviolence, racial healing and other disciplines necessary for navigating the Great Turning.

The Active Hope Network in Ireland was formed in response to the growing demand and need for this work. By participating in this weekend retreat you will also be welcomed into a growing community of facilitators on a mission to integrate these practices into activism to create a more life sustaining world.

The Active Hope Network is about skill sharing, collaboration, peer support, and community.



Friday, 12 July, 2019 to Sunday, 14 July, 2019
€ 85.00