Browse below for articles about Gravity.
April 20, 2015 Unity Online Radio’s “Radical Spirituality and Sacred Activism”…Contemplative Prayer Builds a Just Society, an interview by Adam Bucko
Phileena and her husband Chris have spent their lives in social justice work, among the world’s poor, helping to build the New Friar movement. For nearly 20 years they’ve built community among victims of human trafficking, survivors of HIV and AIDS, abandoned children, and child soldiers and war brides. Join us to hear what she’s learned about doing social justice work, how she discovered contemplative prayer, and in the process found a new way of doing activism she now shares through her teaching at the Gravity Center for Contemplative Activism. Listen to full interview here.
April 4, 2015 Tulsa World…Activist Chris Heuertz drew lessons from spiritual mentor Mother Teresa, by Bill Sherman
In the fall of 2012, they formed Gravity, a center for contemplative activism based in his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. The center holds retreats and takes people on humanitarian pilgrimages. The retreats are always sold out, he said. People of all faiths and no faith attend. Most are Catholic or Protestant. Read full article here.
April 2014 Metro Magazine Cover Story…Gravitas: After serving the poor, an Omaha couple helps heal fellow healers, by Leo Biga
Omaha is a world away from the slums of Calcutta, the idling fields of Sierra Leone or the red light districts of South America. But the human pain found there is never far the hearts and minds of a spiritually enlightened local couple who worked among the suffering of these and similarly challenged places for nearly two decades. Christopher and Phileena Heuertz are 40-something-year-olds who’e devoted much of their adult lives to social justice activism with the poorest of the poor, all the while led by the spiritual admonition “faith without works is dead.” Read full cover article here.
March 17, 2014 Center for Catholic Thought’s “Catholic Comments”..Contemplative Activism: The Gravity Center, an interview by John O’Keefe and Wendy Wright
Phileena Heuertz discusses her work with the Gravity Center in Omaha. As “a center for contemplative activism,” Gravity teaches contemplative practice as the foundation for active Christian engagement. Listen to podcast here.
February 24, 2014 Red Letter Christians…Sabbatical and CAIR: Learn from Mother Teresa, Thomas Keating and others
One of the key components of Gravity’s work is their Contemplative Activist in Residence (CAIR) program, which encourages activists to take sabbatical as a way to recalibrate and bring a deeper sense of integration to the contemplative and active dimensions of their lives. The CAIR program helps leading social activists to thrive in their good work in the world. Read full article here.
October 21, 2013 The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology’s “The Other Journal“…Revolutionary Silence: An Interview with Chris Heuertz
TOJ: “Contemplative activism” and “do good better” are two phrases from your website that really stand out. Could you explain what those mean and what your hope is for those phrases in your organization?
CH: We’ve come to understand that even in our best efforts or attempts to be involved in meaningful, cause-driven social justice or social activism work, there will always be unintended, harmful consequences. Read full interview here.
October 16, 2013 InterVarsity Urban Projects…Centering Prayer by Katye Crawford
Earlier this month (and probably four years since I had last practiced centering prayer) I went on a contemplative retreat with Gravity, a center for contemplative activism. I knew I needed some silence, stillness and solitude in my life, so I was really looking forward to it. I didn’t know what else to expect, and I didn’t know what I wanted out of the retreat – I just needed to go. Read full article here.
October 2013 NYC Let’s End Human Trafficking…Deputy Counsel to Mayor Bloomberg Norma Abbene Presents Proclamation for “Be the Voice” Month Pop-Up Shop
The evening featured a “Voices of Child Soldiers” panel discussion by Ellen Ratner, White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief for the Talk Radio News Service; Shannon Sedgewick Davis, CEO of the Bridgeway Foundation; and Chris Heuertz, founder of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism. Read full article here.
September 18, 2013 Patheos…Who’s Got It Goin’ On? The Gravity Center, That’s Who!, by Tony Jones
This week, the Gravity Center in Omaha celebrates its one-year anniversary. I met Chris Heuertz a couple years ago at a Red Letter Christians gathering, and we hit it off at once (probably because we both challenged Tony Campolo, in a loving, Christian way, of course). For years, Chris ran Word Made Flesh, a Christian non-profit that, among other things, rescued innumerable girls from sexual slavery in South Asian countries. Read full article here.
September 17, 2013 Patheos…Prayer and Action: Finding Our Center of Gravity, by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
A year ago today, my friends Chris and Phileena Heuertz started Gravity: A Center for Contemplative Activism. In twenty years of working among the poorest of the poor, they learned what we’ve learned here: it’s easy to loose your center. But Christian tradition offers us a wealth of resources to help us find our center in prayer. And we have it on good account that this Center holds. To celebrate the first anniversary of Gravity Center, I wanted to share this reflection on how contemplative, liturgical prayer has saved me and our community. Read full article here.
September 17, 2013 Loud Time…The Introduction of Gravity to the World: An Anniversary Post, by David Zimmerman
When Phileena and I first talked about Gravity they had already launched it; Chris had given me the scoop, but Phileena rounded out the vision. She did so, oddly enough, while we were riding to a retreat on a disco party bus, complete with neon lights and what I have convinced myself was not a stripper pole. She told the story of Gravity in patience and good humor, given the chaos of our environment, and I was struck again by how centered, how tethered to reality, these two people really are. Read full article here.
September 17, 2013 Strategic Monk…Leadership Needs Gravity, by Greg Richardson
Gravity holds us together. Without gravity, we would float out, away from the center of the earth. We need a center of gravity. Leaders, in particular, rely on their center of gravity. It is easy for us, especially those of us who believe in the power of both contemplation and action, to begin drifting away. Gravity attracts us to the center. Gravity draws out what is significant and important in us. Read full article here.
September 17, 2013 Red Letter Christians…Do Good Better: One Year of Gravity, by Brian Ballard
You know that feeling that resonates deep within you when you meet someone who helps the world turn a bit better? It coul
be a simple “hello” or a quick handshake or a long conversation, but somewhere in your interaction you sense this person has something that’s bigger than them. They’re deeply rooted in the foundations of their existence and the language that leaves their body has deep, powerful meaning. Have you ever experienced such an encounter? I did when I first met Chris and Phileena Heuertz. Read full article here.
September 5, 2013 Religion News…Doing “good better: An interview with Chris Heuertz, by Jonathan Merritt
Chris Heuertz (41) hasn’t lived in 70 countries to see the world, but to live in the world. He and his wife, Phileena, have worked tirelessly on behalf of the underprivileged, diseased and downtrodden and they’ve recently founded “Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism”. In Chris’s new book, Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community, he shares the importance of biblical community and contemplative activism. From his home Omaha, Chris talks about hidden gifts, divine loneliness, and how to do “good” better. Read full article here.
March 31, 2013 …Couple’s new Omaha center hopes to keep humanitarians healthy, by Casey Logan
Chris Heuertz looks at his hands, and sees the instruments of two separate realities. Two worlds. In one, Chris dines with friends in the comforts of his hometown, Omaha. He holds a nice glass of wine. He shakes hands and throws hugs, because Heuertz, this burly hippie-looking dude in sandals and salt-and-pepper ponytail, is the definition of a hugger. He listens intently and laughs heartily and strikes the impression of a man at peace with himself and in tune with his surroundings. Read full article here.
February 15, 2013 Patheos…Out of Blame and Into Becoming, by Kevin Harris
While it can be easy to become occupied with what I feel other people are doing wrong in the church or placing blame for why I feel tired, during the retreat we focused on where the work really needs to be done: within ourselves. We learned about and had opportunities to try different contemplative prayer practices like centering prayer, lectio divina, the prayer of examen and breath prayer. Read full article here.