Presence, Prayer and Writing from the Heart

A Day Program

With Anne Simpkinson

Thursday, April 25, 2024 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Cost: $85
(includes lunch)

This offering is full.


The Mercy For All Scholarship provides support for those experiencing financial challenges.
Learn more and apply here.


About this Offering

“Stories must be told because they affirm not only our selves but our very being.”
- author and playwright Sophy Burnham

All of us have myriad stories to tell. Some involve our family history, spiritual journey, experiences in nature, or life-changing occurrence. Stories take many forms—memoirs, essays, poems, blog posts, journal entries—but the most compelling are the ones written from the heart, those that move us and sometimes transform both the writer and reader. Writing from the heart demands attentiveness, honesty, courage, and a commitment to engage with a creative process that pulls us into the unknown where we are often surprised at what surfaces. It’s a journey of discovery. And what can help are presence and prayer.

This day-long writing retreat is structured for those who want to start a writing project or those who simply desire to spend time in beautiful surroundings playing with words. In addition to two Centering Prayer (CP) sessions—silence can be a portal to creativity—the day will consist of two talks, writing prompts, story sharing, and conversation.

About the Presenter

Anne A. Simpkinson is an award-winning journalist, story midwife, and writing coach. She and her former husband founded Common Boundary, a nonprofit organization that explored the relationship between psychotherapy, spirituality, and creativity. She and Chuck co-edited two anthologies, Sacred Stories and Nourishing the Soul (Harper San Francisco), and authored Soul Work: A Field Guide for Spiritual Seekers (Harper Collins). While living in New York City, she rode the media’s transformative wave from print to websites and digital communications in her positions with, Prevention magazine,, and Guideposts. She also served as Communications Director for Mercy by the Sea for several years. Anne has been practicing Centering Prayer since 1996. An Introductory CP Workshop facilitator, she leads contemplative writing retreats. Along with Claire Rusowicz, she co-facilitates contemplative prayer retreats in Massachusetts and Connecticut.