Word and Life Fall 2021
Online Study, Lecture and Discussion Series Via Zoom

We invite you to join us for 10 weeks of ZOOM meetings
on Thursday mornings from 10:00 to 11:35 a.m. (PST)
inspired and guided by Bishop Michael Curry’s book, Love Is The Way

Word and Life took a deep dive last year to explore the troubled currents of our pre-and-post election months and to offer perspectives that helped us experience and understand the issues involved in:

Healing The Heart of Democracy – 2020

Confronting Racism – 2021

Next, we looked for wisdom that could answer those challenges. We found it in Bishop Michael Curry’s book, Love Is The Way.

Love is not a Hallmark Card sentiment. It is a force, stronger than gravity, a matrix of connection that binds creation together. Bishop Curry asks us to use its energies to love ourselves, one another, and God more fully.  Unlike so many others, he actually shows us how.

This Fall, 2021, we have invited an important national voice to give us perspective and guidance in working with our cultural discontents.  We hope you’ll join us  as we explore Bishop Michael Curry’s powerful and pragmatic call to adopt a way of life that’s deceptively simple but catalytic in its potential to change us and what’s around us.

Bishop Curry’s writings will be explored by 10 outstanding speakers whose background and work have been deeply engaged with the precepts found in the chapters of Love Is The Way.  We hope you’ll read the book and join us for 10 inspiring and challenging Thursday mornings.

Sign-up Information

When:  September 9, 2021 thru November 11, 2021
             Each Thursday morning –  10:00am – 11:30
How:    Zoom Platform
Fee:     $65.00

OR make a check made payable to WORD AND LIFE and mail it to:
Word and Life
c/o Joe Schneider
533 Tallant Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Hope you can join us for this new season of discovery!  

Walk the path of love with one of the warmest, most beloved spiritual leaders of our time, and learn how to put faith into action.

As the descendant of slaves and the son of a civil rights activist, Bishop Michael Curry’s life illustrates massive changes in our times. Much of the world met Bishop Curry when he delivered his sermon on the redemptive power of love at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle. Here, he expands on his message of hope in an inspirational road map for living the way of love, illuminated with moving lessons from his own life. Through the prism of his faith, ancestry, and personal journey, Love Is the Way shows us how America came this far and, more important, how to go a whole lot further.

The way of love is essential for addressing the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing the world today: poverty, racism, selfishness, deep ideological divisions, competing claims to speak for God. This book will lead readers to discover the gifts they need in order to live the way of love: deep reservoirs of hope and resilience, simple wisdom, the discipline of nonviolence, and unshakable regard for human dignity.

Series Schedule and Recordings

WEEK 1 — Sept. 9: What is This Thing Called Love? ( Chapters 1 & 2 )
The Right Rev. Megan Traquair, Bishop of Northern California

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 -- WEEK 1 
Bishop Megan Traquair speaking on
What is This Thing Called Love?

PART 1 -- Introduction by Pat McClure

PART 2 -- Presentation by Bishop Megan Traquair

(For video controls, hover mouse over bottom edge of video player.)

WEEK 2 -- Sept. 16:The goal of the Series: to listen to our lives and create A Rule of Life that guides us to honor and love ourselves, our world, and one another (Introduction and Appendix)
Rev. Canon John Kitagawa

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 -- WEEK 2 
Rev. Canon John Kitagawa speaking on
Listening to our lives and creating A Rule of Life that guides us.

PART 1 -- Introduction by Pat McClure

PART 2 -- Presentation by Rev. Canon John Kitagawa

WEEK 3 -- Sept 23: Can Love Really Change the World? How? (Chapters 3 and 4)
Video Conversation with Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church

Can Love Really Change the World? How? (Chapters 3 and 4)
Video Conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 -- WEEK 3 
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry recorded interview on the topic of
Can Love Really Change the World?  How?

PART 1 -- Introduction by Michael Dean

PART 2 -- Video Dialogue sponsored by Hobart and William Smith Colleges

(For video controls, hover mouse over bottom edge of video player.)


WEEK 4 -- Sept. 30: Love’s Call – and Love’s Calling (Chapter 5)
Dr. Mary Ann Evans, Neuropsychologist

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 -- WEEK 4
Dr. Mary Ann Evans, Neuropsychologist speaking on
Love's Call -- and Love's Calling

PART 1 -- Introduction by Joe Schneider

PART 2 -- Audio Presentation by Dr. Mary Ann Evans

(For video controls, hover mouse over bottom edge of video player.)

WEEK 5 -- Oct. 7: It’s Not Easy (Chapter 6)
Rev. Canon Ron David

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: OCTOBER 7, 2021 -- WEEK 5
Rev. Canon Ron David speaking on It's Not Easy
Introduction by Michael Dean

(For video controls, hover mouse over bottom edge of video player.)


WEEK 6 -- Oct. 14: Leave No One Behind (Chapter 7)
Vashti Tameka Wilson, MBA

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: OCTOBER 14, 2021 -- WEEK 6
Vashti Tameka Wilson, MBA speaking on Leave No One Behind
Introduction by Dr. Mary Ann Evans

(For video controls, hover mouse over bottom edge of video player.)


WEEK 7 -- Oct. 21: When the Spirit Reworks You (Chapter 8)
(Chapter 9)
Rev. Mark Asman

WEEK 8 -- Oct. 28: The Great Relationship Revival (Chapter 10)
Dr. David Moore

WEEK 9 -- Nov. 4: The Still More Excellent Way (Chapter 11)
Judith Valente, MFA

WEEK 10 -- Nov. 11: Hope, Help and Healing (Chapter 12 and Appendix)
Fr. Jim Clarke

We hope you’ll read this remarkable book
as you watch the Series.

The chapters are listed in the course schedule. Each chapter will be brought to life by an assembly of fine speakers who will speak from their own experience and viewpoints to the wisdom in each of the chapters they’ve been asked to address.

The presenter will speak for about a half hour, then our zoom master will create break-out groups that will allow us to share our responses to the ideas that have touched us most deeply. We’ll re-assemble for a final 15 minutes for a Q and A session with our speaker.

In order of their appearance, here are the biographies and pictures of the outstanding speakers you’ll be watching.

Speaker Biographies

The Right Reverend Megan M. Traquair is the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. Raised in Santa Barbara, she graduated from Pomona College and received her MDiv at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, IL. She has led congregations in Tucson, towns near South Bend and Indianapolis, and Los Angeles.

As Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, she coached clergy and congregations in conflict resolution and lead strategic planning. She has mentored locally-raised Hispanic clergy and supported the Hispanic Program Group in the diocese. She was a key developer of a non-profit management program for clergy: “Best Skills – Best Churches – What Seminary Didn’t Teach You.” By popular demand it’s been expanded to include lay and ecumenical leaders.

Her husband, Philip, is a pediatrician, and their two children are now following their own careers: Hannah - a high school teacher and Ben - a satellite engineer. In her spare time, Megan’s interests include gardening, genealogy, hiking and history.

Rev. Canon John Kitagawa, a third-generation Episcopal priest, has served in ministry positions in New York, New Haven, and Baltimore. He has also spent many years working with the Global Church: in Japan, traveling to several continents and countries in service to the World Council of Churches, and leading six pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

John is now a retired Episcopal Priest, having served mostly recently as the rector of St. Philip’s In The Hills Parish, Tucson, AZ. For 14 years. Next summer, he will serve as a Deputy to the General Convention from Arizona (tenth time as Deputy), and chair the Deputy Legislative Committee on Racial Justice and Reconciliation.

Currently, John co-chairs the Presiding Officers’ (of the Episcopal Church) Working Group on Truth and Reconciliation. He is also completing his second term as a member of the Board of Directors for Arizona Town Hall. Though John recently stepped off the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Tucson, which he served as President, he continues to be a regular volunteer construction worker.


Dr. Mary Ann Evans, neuropsychologist, has a rich and varied career in the psychological and educational arenas spanning over 50 years and specializing in work with individuals who experience emotional, social, medical and learning challenges. During her years as an educator in Santa Barbara, she worked as a specialist for the Santa Barbara County Schools, as an Associate Professor and Head of Special Education at California Lutheran University and an adjunct professor at UCSB and Santa Barbara City College. 

She has been in private psychological practice in Santa Barbara since 1988 and is currently the principle psychologist for the equine assisted psychotherapy and learning program, “Horse Wisdom for the Soul”. Dr. Evans is the founder of the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Program and is a certified therapeutic riding instructor.

Her spiritual journey has encompassed practice in Christian contemplation, and she was most recently a student in the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School. She has also been deeply involved with the Christian Wisdom tradition and is an active member of both Trinity Episcopal and St. Mark’s Episcopal churches.

Rev. Canon Ron David is a physician and priest. His career began in neonatal perinatal medicine at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh. With his interest in infant mortality, Ron was appointed deputy and then acting secretary of health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His next step was joining the faculty of Harvard where his research interest was women’s health as it is defined and affected by patriarchal politics and power.

Ron was next appointed chief medical officer of the District of Columbia Health and Hospitals Public Benefit Corporation where he witnessed much despair, dysfunction, and disease. It led to a time of spiritual discernment for him culminating in a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church USA.

Ron is certified as a clinical chaplain and diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy providing pastoral care education and services to emerging clergy of the Church. Before retirement, he served as chaplain and supervisor of clinical theology at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.


Vashti Tamika Wilson, MBA,  is a Diversity And Inclusion Strategist, co-founder of the non-profit “Madi’s Treasure Box Incorporated”,  owner of a successful STEM company, and proud mother of a precocious 8 year old.

An Air Force Veteran (Cryptologic Linguist) and former Math & Science teacher, Vashti also holds a MBA (Master of Business Administration), an M.S. in Data Science, and a B.S. degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.   

As a serial entrepreneur, Vashti has received numerous awards for her innovative inventions, and is the former host of the PBS venture capital show Brand New.   
She has been featured on Cuomo Prime Time, The Kelly Clarkson show, NBC Evening News, USA Today, The Today Show, NPR Santa Barbara and the Washington Post. In Vashti’s spare time, she enjoys reading great
literature, fishing, Sudoku, and winning at Scrabble.


The Rev Mark Asman retired in 2016 after nearly 25 years of parish ministry at Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara. Mark and his husband, Bill Wood, have been blessed to be able to stay in the city since that time.

Mark has remained active in a variety of community programs among them: Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, Planned Parenthood of the Central Coast Action Fund, Interfaith Sanctuary Alliance and PATH Santa Barbara. Mark believes passionately in what Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls the outward facing church -- the people of God helping to build God's dream of love and justice in our hearts and world.

The Rev. Dr. David Moore, Jr., is a pastor and ecumenical teacher and author. He grew up in a career Navy family whose legacy was to make him feel at home with people of many backgrounds. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with the aspiration of working in television news, but was led, instead, by a strong calling to biblical scholarship and teaching and an internship with the Church of God in Christ in Santa Barbara. At age 27 he was appointed to be pastor of The New Covenant Worship Center in SB. In another 10 years he was asked to expand his pastoral leadership to include a second church – this one in Oxnard, The Church For The Nations.

Meanwhile he earned a Master’s degree from St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada and then a Theology doctorate in 2014 from the University of South Africa.

David and his wife, Diane, have been married for 38 years and have 5 adult children. His book, Making America Great Again: Fairy Tale? Horror Story? Dream Come True? was published in 2016


Judith Valente, MFA, is returning to the Word & Life community after sharing insights with our group in 2019 from her book, How To Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community. 

After an exciting career in journalism, in which she was a staff writer for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, an on-air correspondent for PBS-TV and twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Judith turned her attention to spirituality writing.  In addition to How to Live,  she is the author of Atchison Blue,  a memoir of her time with the Benedictine sisters in Atchison Kansas; The Art of Pausing, co-authored with Brother Paul Quenon of the Abbey of Gethsemani;  as well as two collections of poetry. Her latest book, How To Be: A Monk and a Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & Friendship, also with Brother Paul Quenon, will be out Nov. 1.

Judith gives frequent talks and retreats across the country on the topic of living a more contemplative life in the secular world as well as on the writings of Thomas Merton. She was recently elected vice president of the International Thomas Merton Society. Judith lives in central Illinois with her husband, retired Judge Charles Reynard, also a poet, who addressed the Word & Life group in 2019 on his experiences as a jurist. Together, Judith and Charles edited the award-winning anthology, "Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul." 

Fr. Jim Clark -- With an extensive academic background in the fields of spirituality, adult education, counseling, ritual and depth psychology, Fr. Jim Clarke currently serves as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for the Permanent Diaconate Office for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is a Senior Lecturer of Spiritual Theology at Loyola Marymount University and also an Associate Spiritual Director at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests.

Fr. Jim’s work and further education have taken him to Israel, Mexico, Canada, Africa, Europe, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Pacific Islands. His CD/DVD series and published books have added to his continuing public ministry of retreats, workshops, and conferences throughout the United States for priests, women religious, seminarians, parish and school staffs as well as parishes at large. His newest book is: Here Comes Life! A Guide to Wholeness and Happiness. 

For many years, Fr. Jim has acted as a wise observer of each of our Word and Life series and stepped forward in our final week to weave the multiple threads of big ideas, discovery, and controversy from 9 weeks of rigorous exploration into a presentation that gathers it all into spiritual meaning and practice that we can put to use in our own lives and the world around us.