July 8-13, 2024  | New Harmony, Indiana

Widen Your Tent

John Main Seminar 2024

Led by Jason Gordon, Archbishop of Trinidad & Tobago

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Image credit: Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

40th John Main Seminar

Main Presenter

The John Main Seminar has been an annual event since 1984. It was established to honor John Main’s memory and develop the influence of his teaching in new fields and dialogue with the modern world.

Meet  Archbishop Jason Gordon, who will be leading the Seminar. With Laurence Freeman, he will help to guide the synodal discussions. Read their full biographies by clicking on images.

Previous presenters include the Dalai Lama, Bede Griffiths, John Main, Mary McAleese, Bernard McGinn, Richard Rohr, Charles Taylor, Thomas Keating, and Sarah Bachelard.

A Letter from Fr Laurence Freeman, OSB

Why this Seminar is so special...

Dear Friends,
The title of this year’s Seminar comes from the prophet Isaiah (54:2). The whole verse goes on: ‘Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.' He delivered this message 2,800 years ago at a dangerous crisis in the life of his people. It is no less a call we need to hear, understand and act on in the global crisis of our time.

This will be the fortieth John Main Seminar held to honor Fr. John, as a prophet of our era, by addressing key contemporary issues and faith in a contemplative perspective. John Main came to believe that ‘contemplation is the foundation of civilisation’....

Continue Reading Fr. Laurence's Letter

Highlights

The international yearly John Main Seminar will be held in-person and virtually in New Harmony, Indiana, USA July 8-13, 2024.

Our WCCM history is intertwined with this historic town, more aptly described as a village or a "space away".   In 1991, Fr. Bede Griffiths led the John Main Seminar in New Harmony, with the theme “The New Creation in Christ: Christian Meditation and Community”.  Our name was inaugurated at that seminar, embodying many new hopes and plans.  It was a true Pentecost moment. 

Join this return to New Harmony with a contemplative gathering of individuals from all over the world to discern, and through discourse and silence, participate in ways to ‘widen our tents’.  

In-Person and Virtual Options

Be present either in-person or virtually for this enriching  spiritual gathering. See registration details here.

40th John Main Seminar

Join us in listening and dialogue, wrapped in our contemplative practice, as Archbishop Jason and Fr. Laurence lead us together to find fresh responses to our time of global crisis.

Spiritually Significant location

New Harmony, Indiana is an historic town established by the Harmony Society in 1814 as a utopian society. It was here that our contemplative community received its name, the World Community for Christian Meditation.  Learn more about New Harmony here.

Delicious Meals and Snacks

For in-person participants, all meals and snacks are included from Monday, July 8 through  breakfast on Saturday, July 13. Options are available for those with food allergies or special dietary needs.

Optional Group Tours

We hope to offer a group tour of New Harmony with its fascinating history of utopian communities. Stay tuned for further details closer in time to the event.

Local Accomodations

Stay at the beautiful New Harmony Inn at a discounted group rate with other members of the WCCM community. More info here.

Presenter

jason Gordon

More than thirty years after the WCCM was formed at the John Main Seminar led by Bede Griffiths, Jason Gordon comes to New Harmony to lead a contemporary reflection on where we as a community and as a human family have come. He will raise the question of how we can act hopefully in a collapsing civilization with such hostile forces of de-humanization. How can we understand contemplation in this social and spiritual crisis? But in facing these hard questions, he will invite us to consider the twin path of contemplation and synodality: a faith-filled, hopeful way to a better world and a fuller humanity.

In a world collapsing in on itself in a failure to listen and to open to others, the resounding wisdom of Isaiah’s call to ‘widen your tent’ is like a beam of light. It summons us to open our hearts, our ears and our minds in all directions in an ever-widening spirit of universal welcome and solidarity.

Learn More about Jason Gordon

The Agenda

The John Main Seminar will begin Monday, July 8 with dinner (included in meal plan). Each of the following  days will weave together silence, prayer, and meditation, with talks by Archbishop Gordon, small groups and discussion. We depart on Saturday July 13 after breakfast (included in meal plan) blessing each other on the way. A schedule will be shared as we approach the time of the Seminar.

Image credit: visitnewharmony.com/

July 8-13, 2024

New Harmony, Indiana
Register

Register

Join us for the John Main Seminar 2024. We offer in-person and virtual live-stream options for participation.

For virtual attendees, a discount rate is available if needed.

For in-person attendees who would otherwise find the full cost prohibitive, financial assistance is available to offset the registration cost. To request financial aid, please complete the form below and choose submit.

Financial Aid Form (in-Person)

$100

Live Stream Virtual Seminar

John Main Seminar 2024

Live stream virtual access to all talks - via zoom. Access to the recording of the talks for 1 year.
Discount rate of $75 available; check box on registration form.
Attend as much or as little as you like

$800

In-Person Seminar

John Main Seminar 2024

Access to all in-person sessions. Access to the recording of the talks for 1 year.
All meals and snacks from dinner on Monday, July 8th through breakfast on Saturday July 13th
Note: Above price does not include lodging. Discounted lodging available, see below

Lodging & Transportation

Stay in a truly unique hotel in the walkable town of New Harmony, Indiana, only 23 miles from the Evansville airport. The picturesque tree-lined streets are reminiscent of midwestern villages in earlier times.

New Harmony Inn
504 North St
New Harmony, IN 47631
812-682-4421 (Local)
800-782-8605 (Reservations)

Discounted price: $99 plus tax per night
Group discount code:
WCCM2024A
(Use this code when booking for discounted rate.)

If you plan to arrive a day early on Sunday, July 7th or opt for a few days after the Seminar, you will need to call the New Harmony Inn Reservation Desk to make your reservation. The discounted price will be valid for 3 nights before and 3 nights after.

A truly unique hotel in New Harmony, Indiana, the guest room decor recreates the uncluttered style of the bygone era of the Harmonists; yet, they are tastefully furnished with luxurious beds and equipped with complimentary hi-speed wireless Internet technology.

Seminar dates: Monday July 8 through Saturday July 13 (5 nights). All participants will need to make their individual reservations for lodging.

Book a Room

Transportation to New Harmony Inn
All attendees are responsible for their own transportation.

The nearest airport is : Evansville Airport - https://flyevv.com/
The Evansville Airport is located 23 miles from the town of New Harmony.

The New Harmony Inn can arrange transportation to and from Evansville airport.
Uber, taxis and rental cars are also available at the Evansville airport. Please inquire before arriving.

How To Arrange A Shuttle from Airport

About the Location:
New Harmony, Indiana

New Harmony is an historic town on the Wabash River, 25 miles from Evansville. The site of two American utopian communities, it was first established by the Harmony Society in 1814 as a town in the wilderness. In 1824 the Harmonists sold the property to Robert Owen, a Welsh industrialist and social reformer, who intended creating a utopian community. It was renamed New Harmony.

New Harmony changed American education and scientific research. Town residents established the first public library, a civic drama club, and a public school system open to men and women. The town served as the headquarters of the U.S. Geological Survey. Numerous scientists, educators and spiritual figures have contributed to New Harmony's historical influence. Many of the town's old Harmonist buildings have been restored.

Contemporary additions to the town include the Roofless Church and Atheneum. The Paul Tillich Park commemorates the renowned twentieth century theologian, Paul Johannes Tillich, whose ashes are interred there. Along its walkway there are several large stones on which are inscribed quotations from Tillich's writings and those of other contemporary religious and spiritual figures including John Main.

Highlights to see while you're in New Harmony: Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Gardens, Roofless Church, The Atheneum, Labyrinth State Memorial, Paul Tillich Park, Harmony State Park, New Harmony Historic District and New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art.. We hope to offer a group tour of New Harmony with its fascinating history of utopian communities.

Read WCCM meditator, Tom King's, memories of New Harmony, Indiana here.

Learn more about the New Harmony area
Image Credit: https://newharmony-in.gov/
Cathedral Labyrinth - Image credit : visitnewharmony.com
The Atheneum - Image credit : visitnewharmony.com

John Main and theWCCM

The roots of the WCCM lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity.  Fr. John Main OSB (1926 -1982) recognized how the ‘pure prayer’ or ‘prayer of the heart’ that he found in this teaching could bring people in all walks of life to a deeper spirituality.  He has been recognized worldwide as one of the most important spiritual teachers of our time, helping many Christians of all traditions to begin an exploration ‘in their own experience’ of the contemplative dimension of their faith.  As a result he provides a re-entry point for many who have left their own tradition in order to find this depth of experience in other traditions. Seeing meditation at the heart of the Gospel and also as a universal wisdom, opening the common ground of humanity, he built strong bridges between all faith traditions.

He opened the first Christian Meditation Centre at his monastery in London in 1975. The weekly groups that began there have multiplied in 63 countries in today’s WCCM. From the beginning of this movement he was joined by Laurence Freeman who succeeded him in 1982 and continues to carry on his work as Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation.

Learn More about John Main

July 8-13, 2024

New Harmony, Indiana
Register