Lenten Series 2024
All Saints’ Episcopal Church, San Leandro, CA
With Dale Francis Trunk, M.Div.
Five Wednesday Evenings: 21 February – 20 March, 6:00pm
Accompanied by a simple soup supper
WONDERING, WANDERING, AND WEAVING-OUR-WAY WITH Y-H-W-H
SEASONS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH: LET GO! – LET IN! – GET IT! – GROW UP!
In this series we will explore four seasons of spiritual growth: “Let Go! Let In! Get It! Grow Up!” We change; things are taken away; things fall apart. We find help to keep going. Our brokenness is redeemed. We find home within and join others in the seasons of our common journey.
Some ancient descriptions of spiritual growth adapted by early Christian thinkers tended to denigrate God’s good Creation and define being human as an unfortunate condition from which we need to escape. Another approach is to see Creation as the Outpouring of God’s Love and being Human as an invitation to be Co-Creators in our responses to life. God is already with us. We don’t need a spiritual escape hatch. However, we do need sustenance and good companionship to keep moving through the challenges of the journey.
“Lent” means “springtime” and “the lengthening of days.” Experiencing this growth of light (in the Northern Hemisphere) invites us to metanoia, the foundational Christian experience of seeing things in a new way through cycles of life-death-resurrection. Sometimes, Lent becomes a negative competition in “holy” misery. Positive Lenten practices can increase our spiritual vitality and yield good fruits.
By the age of five, three important aspects of my soul began to unfold: a franciscan spirit, delight in horticulture, and being a gay foreigner in society. After high school, I began a 25-year journey as a Franciscan Friar. I was awarded a Master of Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley; felt my heart open during two summers of Spanish immersion in Mexico City; completed two years of spirituality studies at the Franciscan and Jesuit universities in Rome; fulfilled one year of Clinical Pastoral Education at UCSF Medical Center; and graduated from the Spiritual Directors Institute at Mercy Center in Burlingame. My pastoral experiences included: hospital chaplaincy, teaching, preaching, spiritual direction, and parish ministry. After 25 years as a friar, burnout, and the need to come out, guided me to leave the Order. My sister took me in. I looked for work. I got hired as a flight attendant, which I valued as a ministry among tired and thirsty pilgrims. After 22 years, I lost that job to Covid. This loss led me to grow my ministries of horticulture (specializing in aesthetic pruning), spiritual direction, preaching and teaching. Pruning is one of my spiritual laboratories. My other main schools of spirituality are living with my partner, John, and our guide dog, Ziva; and being a member of All Saints.