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Raising up Elders

Where did this come from?

Richard Rohr created a contemporary Rites of Passage almost 30 years ago, which thousands have participated in all over the world. The Men's Rites of Passage (EROP) serves as a threshold into the Wisdom Journey of Descent, leaving the first half of life spirituality and ushering folk into a healthy second half of life spirituality. An entire community of men in many countries has sprung up out of this seminal event, offering a generative spiritual path.

Ned Abenroth, through 15 years of working with folks in their 60s/70s/80s as a wealth manager, guided many into and through the eldering years and learned first hand the opportunities and challenges this season of life offer. As part of a Master's thesis project, he created the EROP with the aid of Belden Lane, Jonathan Miller, and numerous others. The Elders Rites of Passage was also birthed in 2018 and is now being offered in Europe and the US.

First offered for men, there has been for years a desire to offer a different version open for all, while maintaining the original version for men. Seeds were planted in 2019 for this part of the work, and a team of women and men elders have worked to recontextualize the EROP in this separate offering open to all.

It's been said we have many elderly folk, but very few elders. True elderhood is the flowering of life, and ripe with opportunity to be life's most joyful season of significance rather than furthering consumptive leisure and the myth of individualism. An experience unlike any other, with powerful original rituals, time alone in nature, wisdom teachings and more, men and women are guided across the threshold from adulthood into elderhood.

Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and folk of other traditions, have found the EROP to be a profound spiritual and soulful encounter impacting them for the rest of their lives. The 2024 EROPs are being held at Ekone Ranch, a 1200 acre wilderness preserve and burial ground, outside of Goldendale WA September 10-14 (open for all) and again September 17- 21 (for men).