Reconnecting with Purpose FAQ


How does the program define ‘farm and food system change maker’?

The program considers a change maker to be a farmer-educator, service provider, facilitator, supplier, community organizer, funder, steward or network builder in the New York food and farm system.  If you serve, support, collaborate with farmers (or fellow farmers) and/or NY food businesses in any way, this program welcomes you.


What will happen in the retreats?

This project approaches the theme of reconnecting with purpose or vocation as seeking insight on personal motivations, accessing individual strengths and gifts, accepting our challenges and limitations, and finding new inspiration and direction to our efforts. The retreats will draw upon diverse wisdom traditions through story, poetry and metaphor to guide personal inquiry, and use a mix of small and large group conversation as well as personal reflection.   Specific skill-building opportunities in the retreats will include:

  • Cultivating self-awareness in our work with collaborators, farmers and food producers.
  • Listening and speaking from a place that honors equity and inclusion.
  • Strengthening capacity to listen, pay attention, and be present in relationships.
  • Practicing constructive strategies for holding and dealing with tension with, among and between our colleagues and collaborators


What are the monthly Peer Learning Circles?

Peer Learning Circles will take place each month from November – February in the form of virtual 1.5 hour facilitated video meetings (zoom) with 3-4 participants.  Facilitators will offer a theme and set of questions each month to focus the conversation.  In the Circle, participants rotate in the role of sharing a question or challenge and receiving support from peers by way of attentive listening and 'open and honest' questions.  Peer learning circle members often learn as much when supporting others as they do when they are sharing.


What approach is used for this program?

The “Reconnecting with Purpose” project draws from a Circle approach developed by the Center for Courage & Renewal. A set of touchstones is used to create a trustworthy space to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it. Participant’s sharing in the circle  is always by invitation, not demand.


So the Opening Retreat is in-person, but the rest is virtual? What technology do I need to participate?

A computer with internet connection that enables participants to join a video call (zoom) will enhance the experience, but it’s also possible to participate by phone only.


What is expected of me?

This program is for committed individuals who can be fully present as we form community. In anticipation of this, we ask that you have Opening and Closing Retreat dates (listed below) on your calendar at the time of application.


What are the 2022-23 key project dates? 

Wednesday, October 26th - Friday, October 28th, 2022
2 Day Opening Retreat at Light on the Hill Retreat Center, Van Etten, NY

November - February
A 1.5 hour facilitated Peer Learning Circle convenes each month (Virtual)

Wednesday, March 22nd - Friday, March 24th, 2023
2 Day Closing Retreat (Virtual)


How do I apply?

You can now apply for the program online.  Applications are due by Wednesday, September 7th, 2022.