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2023 Walton Lecture Video

Deepening at the Root:

Tending the Source of Our Worship & Witness

The 2023 Walton Lecture
presented by Christopher Sammond

The problems facing us today, climate disruption, resource depletion, species extinction, white supremacy and endemic racism, to name but a few, are vast, multifaceted, and complex. We cannot live in the midst of them, do nothing, and be fully spiritually alive. And our own best ideas alone will not be adequate to address them. If we are to have a meaningful impact, and not burn ourselves out, we need to be clearly and powerfully led.

In living questions on how I can better connect my spirituality and my activism- my experience of living more fully in the Divine Center and concerns I carry for the world- I kept hearing we need to go to the root which underlies them both. How do we do that? What does that look like?

Speaking out of the Silence, Christopher Sammond shares what he has learned about opening to and following this tender and vulnerable dimension of ourselves, how it empowers our worship and our witness, and questions he still carries about how to better make room for the power of the Divine to work through us.

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Christopher Sammond loves facilitating the creation of a safe space that invites all Friends to open in heart and spirit, to re-member their wholeness, to share in a sense of rich community, and to touch the Divine Source. He has led scores of interactive workshops and retreats for Friends over many years, including ones at Powell House, Woolman Hill, Pendle Hill, Earlham School of Religion, the Friends United Meeting Triennial, the Friends World Committee for Consultation World Gathering, and the Friends General Conference Gathering. Christopher brings years of experience working with meetings on their worship life when serving New York Yearly Meeting as their General Secretary. Many of his workshops over the past 15 years have focused on deepening the experience of worship for monthly, quarterly, and regional meetings. In addition to facilitating workshops and retreats, he currently serves as a core teacher in the School of the Spirit program, Participating in God’s Power.

Christopher also treasures the opportunity to listen for a message for a gathered community at a given time and has done so for the FGC Gathering, Illinois YM, ESR, Powell House, and many regional and monthly meetings. He lives in upstate NY with his wife Barbara, their dog and two cats.