Parsley Set to Lead Literature Retreat

The spirituality of creation will be the focus of a retreat March 15-17 at St. Mary’s Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development. The retreat will be led by the Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley, Jr., retired bishop of Atlanta and an alumnus of the University of the South.

“Works of poetry, fiction, and science will help us look at questions such as how the Spirit speaks to us in and through nature,” Parsley said. We will explore “how ancient wisdom can help us engage the environmental crisis and how celebrating and stewarding the earth bring us closer to God.”

The reading list for the retreat includes “Jayber Crow” by Wendell Berry, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard, and poetry by Mary Oliver, Denise Levertov, and others. Prayer and worship in the Celtic spirit will center the retreat.

The retreat opens at 5 p.m., Friday, March 15 with a reception and dinner; it concludes at 10 a.m., Sunday, March 17. Participants have the option of staying at St. Mary’s Sewanee or commuting if they live in the area. The deadline for registration is Friday, March 8.

Parsley earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at the University of the South (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1970), and a master of divinity from General Theological Seminary  in 1973. He has studied at Oxford University in the areas of spirituality and soteriology, and received honorary doctor of divinity degrees from both the University of the South and General Theological Seminary. Parsley is the retired 10th Bishop of Alabama and is a member of the St. Mary’s Sewanee board of trustees.

For more more information or to register, call St. Mary’s Sewanee at 931-598-5342, email <>, or go online to <>.