Welcome to the Hollister Institute

The Hollister Institute provides opportunities for stimulating discussion and thoughtful exploration for everyone, whether or not they are members of a church.  Courses are offered at St. Benedict’s Church in Los Osos.  For more information about Hollister courses, contact Lorienne Schwenk at singingkitchen@gmail.com.

Starting in September

An Overview of Books NOT Included in the Bible -- The Hebrew Bible Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament Apocrypha
Thursdays at 10 am: Sep 16, 23, 30, & Oct 7

There are texts that might have been included in the Bible, but were not. What are they? What did they contain? Why were they not chosen? In this four week course, we'll look at the "pseudepigrapha" (falsely ascribed to), books peripheral to the accepted canonical writings in the Hebrew Bible, and the "apocrypha" (hidden) books peripheral to the New Testament. We'll look into their contents and how they have been thought of during past centuries, by what considerations and by whom they were not accepted in our present canon (official lists of books), and how their contents compare with or supplement books of our present Bible. Taught by Lenore (Lenny) Erickson of St Peter's, a gifted and popular teacher who taught religion and philosophy at Cuesta College for many years.

Continuing Programs

Ocean Mind Collective
first and third Mondays, 7:00-9:00 pm

The Ocean Mind Collective is a community gathering to explore spiritual literature. Through the study of mythological, mystical, religious, and spiritual texts, we hope to deepen our understands of that divine source from which all of creation flows. All are welcome; the only requirements being a curiosity to expand one's consciousness and the ability to laugh at oneself. For more information, contact Ian Thompson at oceanmindcollective@gmail.com.

We began a discussion of The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm in March.

Ian writes: "Ocean Mind Collective is a community of women and men who coalesce for the passion of exploring spiritual literature. Through the study of mythological, mystical, religious, and spiritual texts, we hope to collectively deepen our understanding of that divine source from which all of creation flows. Our primary purpose is to comprehend and enact the warrior’s path of unconditional love in our daily lives and communities. We seek to turn inward and to meditate upon that golden vein of spirit which like a river flows effortlessly onward through the consciousness of all tribes and cultures since the creation of time. We aspire to remember the archetypal path of the peaceful warrior and divine goddess within us, and to recognize these shape shifting prophets throughout the collective consciousness of all humankind. With optimism, we hope to manifest gratitude, acceptance, and love within ourselves and each other through exploring this sacred literature. Selflessness and solidarity shall be key principles for the ever growing formation and sustainment of this book club."

Dream/Spirituality Group
first and third Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm

St. Ben's Drop-in Dream Group meets every first and third Thursday at St. Benedict's. The format is similar to twelve-step meetings: confidentiality is required regarding any dreams shared with the group, and sharing is not required (everyone supports by their presence). The group is "open" to newcomers but there is no commitment to attend on a regular basis. There are no instructional or workshop-related activities unless noted in advance. The interpretative assumptions and language are Jungian (see Robert Johnson's Inner Work).

Anyone who would like to be notified of future meetings should send an email address to Bob Pelfrey (bobpelfrey@charter.net).

For those interested in a year-long study

see the Education for Ministry program