Growing the Guild in Washington DC
Greetings from the Nation’s Capital, where for
almost 20 years the transformational work of the Guild
for Psychological Studies has been setting roots. Many of
you are aware that April Barrett introduced the Guild’s
work to East Coasters in the1990s at the Jung Society of
Washington, through workshops and seminars led by Bill
Dols, Rudy Marcus and others. This article is to
introduce another seedling that has been developing in a
grassroots way -- the DC Home Guild and the newly
named DC Guild for Transformational Studies.
It all began with the carriers of the seed (DC’s Scilla
Adams to Julie Gaebe) and fertile soil (seekers at St.
Mark’s Church, Capitol Hill.). Julie returned to DC in
2000 from her fifth Records seminar at Four Springs,
afire with enthusiasm for the Guild process. A veteran
special education teacher, as well as a seasoned teacher
in St. Mark’s “functional education” program, she was
eager to share this new approach and gathered a class. St.
Mark’s was a natural setting -- a progressive Episcopal
church whose core is a lay-led, experiential education
program brought to the church in the 1960s from The
Educational Center in St. Louis.
Under the informal supervision of Lynn Gordon and
Manuel Costa, Julie led numerous classes at St. Mark’s
from 2001-2007 using Guild content and process. Class
members served as committee people as well as shared in
some co-leading. Enthusiasm and commitment
continued to grow through these classes and an open
workshop by visiting teacher Rudy Marcus. Then,
desiring to meet on an ongoing basis outside the church
and to deepen their work together, a core “Home Guild”
group was formed in 2001. The monthly meetings in
members’ homes were first led by Julie, then gradually
facilitation of traditional Guild Records work was
shared, expanding to experimentation with various other
Guild study focuses and texts.
Over the years, several DC Guild enthusiasts
continued to refuel at Guild seminars at Four Springs.
Some traveled north to Maine to attend “Guild on the
Road” seminars with Judith Peterson. Others attended
weekend seminars with the Seattle Committee. All
brought back their sparks to the East Coast. The DC
Home Guild group of 15 continued to develop its own
special intimacy – even through some fallow patches and
the loss and addition of members. They welcomed guest
leaders Manuel Costa and Richard Nagle to lead annual
weekend retreats in 2007 and 2008. They remained
committed to the Guild process.
Summer 2009 marked a turning point in the
development of the DC area Guild community when four
members of the DC Home Guild group attended the
newly revised Records seminar “Who I Am I Must
Become.” That summer at Four Springs they were
inspired not only to return to DC to infuse some new life
into their group, but also to manifest their vision for
sharing and expanding the Guild work in the DC area
beyond their small group.
Their efforts took several paths. First, Hal Childs was
engaged to lead the Home Guild’s 2009 fall weekend
retreat where he expanded the group’s experience of the
Records study with a Jungian focus.
Next, the group invited Hal to mentor them in their
monthly meetings for the 2009-10 academic year. The
explorations and relationships developed through
monthly letters from Hal to the entire group, and through
Hal’s monthly, targeted activities and telephone
coaching/supervision of rotating pairs of leaders. Last
year’s work focused on introducing basic Jungian
concepts in relation to Records material, and included
reading Jung’s Map of the Soul, by Murray Stein.
This past fall, another growth spurt occurred when
Hal came to Washington in September to lead the
group’s 2010 weekend retreat, beginning a second
academic year of the mentorship. In addition to
experiencing an important seminar focused on the Self,
the group presented Hal in a public forum in which he
introduced Guild work to more than 80 people from
inside and outside of St. Mark’s.
During this same fertile time, an important gathering
was initiated by Susan Thompson that included members
of the Home Guild and some Guild enthusiasts outside
the Home Guild, including April Barrett, Bill Dols and
Sally Pugsley. The group gathered to consider and lay
plans for a 9-day seminar in the Washington DC area and
after an intensive fall effort to organize the summer
seminar, the steering group named itself the DC Guild
for Transformational Studies. They have enlisted cosponsorship
from the Jung Society of Washington, St.
Mark’s Church, the Center for Progressive Christianity
and, most significantly, the Guild for Psychological
Studies. This collaborative effort has called on resources
of not only the seminar steering group and sponsoring
organizations, but also on experienced Guild-trained
mentors living on the East Coast --Bill Dols, April
Barrett, Ted Voorhees and Caren Goldman.
The DC Guild for Transformational Studies is thrilled
to announce that the first East Coast revised Records
seminar “Who I Am I Must Become” will take place
from July 23 – 31 at Shepherd Springs Center in
Sharpsburg, Maryland, a rural retreat center 1 ½ hours
outside DC. Leaders will be Hal Childs and Patricia
Stenger, assisted by Julie Gaebe, Guild teacher-intraining
under supervision of Hal and Judith Peterson.
For seminar details and registration contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-329-9797
But wait, there’s more!
Three one-day Records seminars are being offered at
St. Mark’s in the 2010-11 academic year. Co-led by
members of the Home Guild group, the classes are
focusing on the themes of "The Calling," "Forgiveness"
and “The Divine Feminine” and have met thus far with
great enthusiasm by an expanding group of seekers.
On February 9, Bill Dols is scheduled to make a
public presentation at St. Mark’s exploring a Biblical text
using Guild process and drawing on St. Mark’s own
roots in The Educational Center.
As well as engendering a rich East Coast presence for
the Guild, Guild members from the DC area have also
been proactive in providing critical support to West
Coast activities. In September, Nadine Hathaway and
Matthew Black brought their organizational gifts to bear
by guiding California Guild leaders in an important
strategic planning effort in California last September that
continues to reap good fruit.
The Guild for Psychological Studies has been
nurturing seeds far beyond the Bay area and Four
Springs for many decades. May the exchange of
resources continue and may the wider community
continue to grow and share in this life-giving work.