Orcas Island, Washington

Moving Forward Not Backward

Read the Gospel of Mark. In many ways the gospel is organized according to the “advances” Jesus took. Count the number of times Mark says “And Jesus came apart.”

Now look deeper into where Jesus “came apart”:” the mountains, the desert, and the water. Three different bons vaux, sacred spaced, landscapes of the sacred. The three natural places which have the power to help restore us to physical, mental and spiritual harmony. Your soul needs three sacred spaces. Which one depends on the state your soul is in.

In creating SpiritVenture Ministries, Len, Elizabeth and their partners are building a decentralized model of “advancing” (a mountain advance, an island/water advance, and a desert advance).

  • The Atlantic Advance is in Ocean City, New Jersey.
  • The Pacific Advance is on Orcas Island, Washington.
  • The Desert Advance is TBD (to be determined)

At each one of the “advances,” you will not find motel-like (centralized buildings with square-box accommodations linked by long narrow corridors and wide parking-lots) spaces. Instead SpiritVenture Ministries is bringing back the old-fashioned, decentralized get-away-cottages you used to see all along US America’s blue highways — except each one of these cottages is more “English cottage” in size, luxury-class in appointments, and future-fitted with what you need for a healthy mind, body and soul. See for more details.

*The cost of each Advance includes all registration fees and six meals for the two days. Each Advance begins with breakfast on the first morning, and concludes with supper and after-dinner conversation on the second evening. You are responsible for your own housing, although we are available to help you find lodging and make recommendations.

Advance Conversation Partners:

Ken Ulmer
Mike Riddell
Sally Morgenthaler
Brian McLaren
Mark Driscoll
Erwin McManus
Ron Martoia

Chris Seay
Greg Paul
Luci Shaw
Lisa Samson
Alan Jamieson
Alan Hirsch
Mike Slaughter

Joan Ball
Jessie Rice
Mark Batterson
Reggie McNeal
Margaret Feinberg
John Stackhouse
Matt Knisely

Karen Swallow Prior
Frank Viola
Bob Roberts Jr.
Carl Medearis
Bill Easum
Mark Pierson

2019 Pacific Advance: March 8 & 9, 2019


The Salish Seaside Escapes

327 Sunset Avenue
Eastsound, WA 98245

Cost: $500 per person or $950 per couple.

This fee includes 6 meals for the 2 days. You are responsible for your own lodging.

Speaker: Scott Cairns

Scott Cairns was born in Tacoma, Washington November 19,1954. He received his B.A. in English from Western Washington University in 1977, his M.A. in English Writing from Hollins College in 1979, his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University in 1981, and his Ph.D. from University of Utah in 1990. He has taught literature and writing courses at Bowling Green State University, Kansas State University, University of Utah, Westminster College of Salt Lake City, University of North Texas, Old Dominion University, and University of Missouri. Librettist, essayist, translator, and author of multiple poetry collections, Scott Cairns was Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English at University of Missouri, until leaving that position to serve as Director of the Low-Residency MFA Program at Seattle Pacific University. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Image, Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and many other venues, and both have been anthologized in multiple editions of Best American Spiritual Writing. He has blogged for the Religion Section of The Huffington Post. His recent books include Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems (2015), Idiot Psalms (2014), Short Trip to the Edge (spiritual memoir, 2016), Endless Life (translations and adaptations of Christian mystics, 2014), and a book-length essay, The End of Suffering (2009). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, and the Denise Levertov Award in 2014. His new poetry collection, Anaphora, will appear from Paraclete Press in spring, 2019, and his current projects include Descent to the Heart, verse adaptations of selections from the writings of Saint Isaak of Syria.

Information about Orcas Island can be found at:

If you are flying you will want to fly into SeaTac Airport in Seattle. From there
you can either rent a car and drive or you can fly on Kenmore Air to East Sound
(Orcas Island).

Ferry Information: You will take the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas

Kenmore Air Information


For more information, please contact:
Melissa at 609-645-3800 or by email:

Register Now:

You must complete a registration form and submit your deposit. Tap HERE for registration form. 


Couple Button – Full Registration Fee

Individual Button – Full Registration Fee

Couple Deposit Button

Individual Deposit Button