For years, much of the teaching and practice of contemplative spirituality has focused on the traditional cannon of western European mystics and attracted students from a predominantly European background. An exciting and innovative grant from Trinity Church Wall Street (one of $22 million of grants awarded this year) provides the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation – one of the world’s leading teaching organizations of contemplative spirituality – the resources to begin a comprehensive look at how to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in the Shalem’s operations and leadership.
“This generous pioneering grant is an opportunity both to broaden the way we understand contemplative spirituality, as well as to develop new and diverse leadership that will carry the spiritual practices into a wider community.” Dr. Margaret Benefiel, Executive Director, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
Dr. Westina Matthews (Shalem Board member and co-convener of the Shalem Contemplatives of Color working group) noted, “With this Trinity grant, Shalem has an excellent opportunity to support all its participants in connecting their contemplative work with issues of race and justice. This connection is important to support participants who are serving in a world that needs leaders trained by Shalem to be deeply grounded and spiritually courageous.”
“Our faith calls on us to use our gifts to help all people, advancing equity and justice in the here and now,” said Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Rector of Trinity Church Wall Street, “and hopefully for generations to come.”
For fifty years, the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation has fostered contemplative living and leadership by caring for the spiritual heart in prayer and by offering ways of opening into the life of the Spirit through our programs and other resources. They welcome individuals wherever they are on the path of spiritual discovery, providing opportunity for spiritual exploration individually and within a community of seekers. In 2022, Shalem adopted a new vision that emphasizes inclusion and belonging.
Trinity Church Wall Street is a vibrant and growing Episcopal parish of more than 1,600 members. Over the past 325 years, Trinity has been guided by its mission to share God’s love for all people. Trinity’s programs seek to offer shared encounters with the holy, to cultivate compassion, and to work for justice rooted in dignity.