EVENTS

2017

KATHRYN SMITH GIVES A READING AT RENSING — FEBRUARY 12TH

Sunday, February 12th
3:00 PM

Our friend and local author Kathryn Smith will be coming to the center to present her hit 2016 book The Gatekeeper, a biography of Missy Lehand that has garnered praise from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post alike.

Who is Missy Lehand, you ask? Well, if you really want to know you’ll have to come and hear for yourself, but in the meantime here are some fun Lehand facts:

  • She not only served as President FDR’s secretary, he often credited her with serving as “his conscience” as well
  • She worked with FDR for over twenty years, accompanying him from his failed Vice-Presidential run to his successful Presidential runs
  • She is widely considered to have been the first woman to serve as chief of staff

To find out more, please come to the Rensing Center on Sunday, February 12th, at 3PM–all are welcome! In addition to reading, Kathryn Smith will be signing and selling books ($28 cash or check). The Rensing Center will be providing refreshments.

2016

library_event

Sunday, November 6th
8 to 10 am (Daylight Savings!!)

GARDEN WORK 8-10 (am) If you’re in the area, come help us clear and prepare the Rensing Center garden beds! Bring your gloves, etc.

WORKER’S BRUNCH to follow 10-11am
(Please RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com)

LIBRARY BOOK SORTING 11am – 1pm

Join us! We would love to see your shining face and helping hands!

 

Healing Conversations: REMEMBER

Sunday, May 29th, 2o16 at 6 pmred-poppy-flower-meaning
Rensing Center Library
1165 Mile Creek Rd, Pickens, SC 29671
Bring food or drink to share.

The fifth in a series of monthly potluck suppers to be held the last Sunday of the month on the theme of healing, both personal and community.

We will gather on the last Sunday of each month to listen, learn, ponder a theme, and share ideas and supper.  Readings will be encouraged; make suggestions or explore the Rensing Center’s library.  We will explore patterns as we know them and as we could heal them, in a context of creativity and spirituality.  We hope to gather a diverse group of participants and listen to each other’s ideas with respect.
 
This month’s supper in the series will be centered around the theme REMEMBER. The supper will be facilitated by Pam Mack Professor of History of Technology and Science at Clemson University.

It is said that memories are stored in neurons throughout the brain.  Nothing is lost, but we are selective in how we retrieve and link these thoughts. How do our sentiments alter our recollection of history?

Seating limited, RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267 by May 28th.

Future themes may include BALANCE, PROTECT, INTEGRATE, RECOVER, APPRECIATE, LAUGH, SHARE, and CONSERVE. Suggest others!

A  Short Recital

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Please join us for a short recital by Nathan Koci International Gamelan and multi-instrumental rock star, just back from Southeast Asia!

Thursday, April 14th, 8pm
Cake and Champagne
Rensing Center Library
1165 Mile Creek Rd.
Pickens, SC 29671

RSVP via rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267

Healing Conversations: READ

1f1eaf5b-3330-47c5-b08b-54269ec32848Sunday, April 24th, 2o16 at 6 pm
Rensing Center Library
1165 Mile Creek Rd, Pickens, SC 29671
Bring food or drink to share.

The fourth in a series of monthly potluck suppers to be held the last Sunday of the month on the theme of healing, both personal and community.

We will gather on the last Sunday of each month to listen, learn, ponder a theme, and share ideas and supper.  Readings will be encouraged; make suggestions or explore the Rensing Center’s library.  We will explore patterns as we know them and as we could heal them, in a context of creativity and spirituality.  We hope to gather a diverse group of participants and listen to each other’s ideas with respect.
 
This month’s supper in the series will be centered around the theme READ. We will be honoring Joe Townsend‘s contributions to the Rensing library, as well as the role of research and curiosity in changing our own and our culture’s perspectives.  Townsend is an incredible native plant botanist who is one of the last to sprout Oconee Bells from seeds. The supper will be facilitated by Ellie Taylor nurse, nutritional expert, author.

Talk about what sources inspire you.  What do you read and why?  How is information relevant to your life?  How does knowledge change you?

This month we will be featuring a beer and wine tasting provided by the Appalachian Ale House! 
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Seating limited, RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267 by April 23th.

Future themes may include BALANCE, PROTECT, INTEGRATE, RECOVER, APPRECIATE, LAUGH, SHARE, and CONSERVE. Suggest others!

 

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Saturday, April 2nd
9am-12pm
1165 Mile Creek Rd. Pickens, SC 29671
Lunch will be provided.

Cynthia Warner will guide us in organizing felled branches and trunks of the logged forest on our North Slope into Branch Beds, a permaculture technique that prevents erosion, entices worms, and improves the visual landscape.

Please RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com.

 

Healing Conversations: REVIVE

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Sunday, March 27, 2016
6pm-8pm
Rensing Center Library
1165 Mile Creek Rd, Pickens, SC 29671
Bring food or drink to share.

 

The third in a series of monthly potluck suppers to be held the last Sunday of the month on the theme of healing, both personal and community.

This month’s supper in the series will be centered around the theme REVIVE. The supper will be facilitated by Marty Bruehl,  a retired conflict resolution consultant.

After a period of hibernation, the garden is resuming its vigor. How can we imitate nature in our recovery with warmth and light. How can we pace ourselves as Spring Fever overtakes us?

Seating limited, RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267 by March 26th.

Future themes may include BALANCE, PROTECT, INTEGRATE, RECOVER, APPRECIATE, LAUGH, SHARE, and CONSERVE. Suggest others!

 

Healing Conversations: GATHER

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Sunday, February 28, 2o16 at 6 pm
Rensing Center Library
1165 Mile Creek Rd, Pickens, SC 29671
Bring food or drink to share.

The second  in a series of monthly potluck suppers to be held the last Sunday of the month on the theme of healing, both personal and community.

We will gather on the last Sunday of each month to listen, learn, ponder a theme, and share ideas and supper.  Readings will be encouraged; make suggestions or explore the Rensing Center’s library.  We will explore patterns as we know them and as we could heal them, in a context of creativity and spirituality.  We hope to gather a diverse group of participants and listen to each other’s ideas with respect.
 
Our second supper in the series will be centered around the theme GATHER. The suppers are facilitated by Ellie Taylor, nurse, nutritional expert, author. This month’s conversation will feature Fletcher Perry, and Mable Clark. Perry is a member of Pickens City Council and  interested in BBQ, a long southern tradition.  Clark organizes a monthly fish fry at Soapstone Church, drawing community members from near and far.

Come prepared to share stories and ideas about how food has brought people together. What does it means to share a meal with others in the context of present, and past cultural traditions. What are your family food traditions? How has the meaning of eating together changed (or not) over the years?

Seating limited, RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267 by Feb. 28.

Future themes may include BALANCE, PROTECT, INTEGRATE, RECOVER, APPRECIATE, LAUGH, SHARE, and CONSERVE. Suggest others!

 

Healing Skills Workshops

CABBAGE POETRY: Using what you have to make what you need!
First in a series of Saturday workshops combining conversation and craft skills.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.54.27 AMWe will start the day off with a playful poetry exercise lead by poet-in-residence Abby Minor. Pam Mack will teach fermenting; she has been fermenting using the approach popularized by Sandor Katz for several years.

Feb. 6, 2016 from 9:30 am to 2 pm in the Pottery at the Rensing Center: 1165 Mile Creek Rd. Pickens, SC 29671

Lunch will be provided, program cost is $50
Payable through check upon arrival or through PayPal.

Seating limited. RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267.

We will learn and meditate on the ways in which human beings are sustained by beneficial bacteria inside us and around us.  We will sample and prepare sauerkraut, Jun tea (related to kombucha but made with honey instead of sugar) and other ferments.  Each participant will take home a jar of sauerkraut and a jar of Jun tea, ready to put in a cool place in your house and allow to ferment.

The goal of these workshops is to try out new skills but also to explore resources for healing through our creativity and spirituality and to reflect more deeply on how we live our lives.  Our goal is to share ideas for nourishing our bodies and spirits, the community, and the earth.

Healing Conversations: NOURISH
nourishSunday, January 31st
6 pm
1165 Mile Creek Road
Rensing Center Library

First in a series of Sunday suppers to be held the last Sunday of the month on the theme of healing, both personal and community.

We will gather on the last Sunday of each month to listen, learn, ponder a theme, and share ideas and supper.  Readings will be encouraged; make suggestions or explore the Rensing Center’s library.  We will explore patterns as we know them and as we could heal them, in a context of creativity and spirituality.  We hope to gather a diverse group of participants and listen to each other’s ideas with respect.

The first in the series, on the theme Nourish, will be facilitated by Ellie Taylor. Come prepared to share your ideas about food both in a context of personal health and ecological health.

Bring food or drink to share

Seating limited, RSVP to rensingcenter@gmail.com or 864.380.1267 by Jan. 28th

Future themes may include protect, integrate, recover, appreciate, laugh, share, and conserve.

2015

Warm Feet Retreatc507db07ce2e6b14ef5fee3af718d1d6
Saturday, December 19th
1165 Mile Creek Road

Take a short retreat for creative rest and restoration this busy holiday season. Breathe. Enjoy the sun as it warms the floor at its lowest point. Make slippers. Eat soup. Walk the nature trail.
Join us at the Rensing Center Saturday morning Dec. 19, for a Warm Feet retreat .  Jeanne Malmgren will guide our meditation. Pam Mack will lead a conversation about Advent and the solstice. Ellen Kochansky will describe how the building’s architecture and orientation heat the building for free, and we’ll trace our footprints on leather and cut out soles to make slippers.  We will have felted wool for the uppers and you’ll have everything you need to finish sewing them together at home.  We are collecting 100% wool sweaters with moth holes (or otherwise no longer of use) to felt. Contact us via email (rensingcenter@gmail.com) if you have some to contribute.  

Please arrive around 9:30 to introduce yourselves. Tea, coffee and light breakfast items will be available. Program begins at 10 am.  A soup lunch will be served.
We’ll limit attendance to twelve, so sign up soon, via email response to this invitation with the subject line: Warm Feet Retreat. Suggested donation $25 per person. Please make your payments through Paypal. You may want to bring a mat or other way to make yourself comfortable on the floor. Program ends early, so those who want to can get to the special Christmas program at Hagood Mill:

Schedule:
10:00 am             breathing meditation
                             Jeanne Malmgren
10:20 am             introductions and sharing
10:40 am             reflections on Advent and the winter solstice
Pam Mack
10:55 am             reflections on architecture for warmth
Ellen Kochansky
11:10 am             trace footsteps, build slipper kits, get instructions
12:00 pm            lunch
12:30 pm            optional walk

Block Party
Saturday, July 25th
1165 Mile Creek Road

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A fun gathering of all the neighbors and current residents. Grill out and bonfire were a must!

 

 

 

A Little Piece of Heaven 
Monday, July 2oth
Anderson Independent

StorytellerFarm01_21713926_ver1.0_640_480A wonderful article written about our residency program in Pickens by Charmaine Smith. Photographs by Nathan Gray.

 

 

 

Generation Conversation
Wednesday, July 22nd
Rensing Center Library

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Views, history, heritage and life stories need to be shared and heard across all ages. This inaugural conversation showcased our very own 95 year old muse, Evelyn Rensing Kochansky.

 

 


Winterim Art Retreat 

March 7th-11th
Rensing Center

unnamed-1We hosted 15 students from Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia for one week.

 

 

 

2014

October-Alliance of Artist Communities Conference Drop-in Hosted in Charleston at the Lodge Alley Inn. The suite was graciously donated by our board member, Annette Buchanan.  Residents collaborated on a menu featuring Charleston’s traditional fare with food from our own gardens.

October-Care Giving/ Care Taking A two-part workshop in writing, sculpture, and papermaking at Greenville’s Fine Arts Center. In partnership with Drew Matott, a past resident, of Peace Paper and Carol Young Gallager of EMRYS, students were guided  in an exercise designed to encourage awareness of stress as they prepare for adulthood.

October 27th-Earth Dialogue Local Land Use Policy: Planning for Reduced Environmental Impact
Moe Joe’s Coffee Company and Wine Bar

September 29th-Earth Dialogue Landfill and Recycling Updates: The Truth About Our Garbage
Moe Joe’s Coffee Company and Wine Bar

August 25th- Earth Dialogue Building Community Resilience: Sustainable Living
Moe Joe’s Coffee Company and Wine Bar

April 4 – 6: ArtCamp

March 24: Earth Dialogue at Friends Café, Clemson. Coordinated by Ellie Taylor.

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2013

May 5: Upstate Forever Field Trip

Join Upstate Forever for a tour of The Rensing Center!

A property tour with Ellen Kochansky. Master naturalist Joe Townsend acted as guide on a half-mile Nature Trail to a waterfall, and Nathan Missel, green designer and builder, offered thoughts on green features of the new EKO house.

May 4: TriCounty Transition Green Living Tour

Learn how to save a little green!
More information here!

Tricounty Transition visited 6 homes (in Pendleton, Central, Seneca, Mountain Rest, and Pickens), 2 new buildings at Clemson University (Lee Hall 3 and The Life Sciences Building) and 7 Businesses that sell sustainable/green products/services. Features include use of renewable energy and energy efficient components.

Apr. 19-21: Art Camp / Annual Board Retreat

Our 2013 Board Retreat and Art Camp focused on building a new Gateway to the Nature Trail, warming the newly built house of our Executive Director, Ellen Kochansky, as well as wishing Evelyn Kochansky a very happy 93rd birthday!

April 6: Workshop – Lighting Design/Fabrication

Using common found, sourced or recycled, materials, we explored methods for fabricating functioning light fixtures. With artistic and technical guidance from Nathan Missel, MS, M.Arch, Assoc. AIA (Design/Builder and Product Designer), we learned to design and build a sculptural shade and fabricated it into a functioning light fixture which hangs, stands, or mounts to a surface.

 

2012

Nov. 3: Concrete Casting Workshop

Apr. 13-16: Art Camp and Board Retreat

2012 marks the year of the BUILD at the Rensing Center.  We took stock of what we had, and made plans for the future. Renovated pottery studios-turned-dormitories, new green building initiatives in the pasture, and moved our administrative offices down the hill into the studio. And we wished our dear Evelyn Kochansky a very happy 92nd birthday to boot.

Feb. 1: Planting and Propagation Workshop with Lisa Wagner and Joe Townsend

Join Lisa Wagner, director of education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, and Joe Townsend, owner of Widside Gardens, a native plant nursery located in Pickens County, as they lead a workshop on planting and propagation at the Rensing Center Gardens.

Visit Lisa Wagner’s gardening blog at http://www.naturalgardening.blogspot.com/.

 

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Lisa Wagner, Ph.D., is director of education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson University. She is responsible for education programs for adults and children, including oversight of outreach programs such as Sprouting Wings and Garden Explorations, an inquiry-based field trip program for schoolchildren.

Lisa speaks frequently on a variety of gardening topics, from gardening for nature to raised-bed vegetable gardening. She is a regular host on the gardening segments of CU Radio ProductionsYour Day, heard on ETV Radio. She was the lead author of The Nature of Clemson, a Field Guide to the Natural History of Clemson University and writes about plants and gardening for local newspapers and newsletters.

She and her husband, Tim, also a plant ecologist, have transformed a two-acre traditional landscape into a garden that includes a diversity of native plants, wildlife habitats, and a raised-bed organic vegetable garden.

2011

Dec. 10: A Day of Personal Expression and Papermaking

Margaret Mahan and Drew Matott of Peace Paper conducted a day of personal expression and papermaking. We explored the rich history and technique of traditional hand papermaking, and shared our own story by incorporating memorable bits from the past and present. Soft objects, such as letters, photographs , plants, cloth, etc…. where added to pulp as inclusions in the paper created. Everyone went home with a Japanese Stab Bound Journal that Margaret and Drew made before hand.

Dec. 3: Greenhouse Workshop with Joe Townsend

CONQUER THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT WITH A GREENHOUSE!

Do you dream of having your own greenhouse but think you can’t afford
one? Do you want to build your own but don’t know where to begin? If
so, this “hands on” workshop is for you. The timing is perfect to create
your own greenhouse for the fall, winter and spring seasons. We will
finish the project during this 6 hour workday. It includes lunch, so bring
a small pot-luck contribution.

* Participate, step by step, in the construction of a low cost, high
quality greenhouse from beginning to completion.
* Learn creative ways to use your greenhouse, such as hydroponics.
* Extend your garden’s growing season, using the greenhouse for
winter greens, and start seeds for next spring this winter.
* Go home with a complete materials list and greenhouse design
layout. Some of the materials will be available for purchase,
to jump-start your own project.
* Enjoy a day of active learning in the company of like minds, in this
beautiful garden.

This greenhouse will support the Rensing Center’s organic garden, which
serves as a demonstration site and a source of dinner for all our residents
and guests.

Joe Townsend, our instructor, is owner of Widside Gardens, a native plant nursery located in Six Mile area of Pickens County. He is a horticulturist, Master Gardener and charter member of the SC Native Plant Society, where he is active as Education and Outreach chair person. Currently he is the Naturalist at Hagood Mill Folk Life Center in Pickens County. He has 20 years experience with designing and building small backyard hobby greenhouses as well as larger greenhouses used commercially. He resides in the Six Mile area on a 24 acre farm where he lives off-grid with solar power.

Oct. 8: ACCORD, Middle Eastern Dinner and Concert!

April 14-18: Art Camp

In its sixth year, camp is a week-long invitational gathering of creative energy around a different theme each year, with spontaneous and planned art, play, and concerted work towards our organization’s goals.

Feb. 11: Ellen Kochansky Visiting Artist Lectures

CIMG6911.JPG Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
9:15 am and 1:30 pm
Fine Arts Center
Greenville, SC

Rensing Center Executive Director Ellen Kochansky gave two visiting artist lectures at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville about her personal creative process and method!

Jan. 28: Elizabeth Stehling Studio Warming

Former Rensing Center Resident Elizabeth Stehling (Summer 2010) is opening her art studio in Greenville’s West End. Free and Open to the Public!

www.elizabethstehling.com

 

 

 

Jan. 22: Sewing Circle Workshop

On Saturday, January 22nd Ellen Kochansky will gather a “Sewing Circle,” a community project for Episcopal Church of the Ascension, which will gather the congregation’s fabrics and create vestments for the new minister. She will demonstrate some interesting techniques, and there will be a pot-luck lunch afterward. No sewing skills needed…there will be work for any skill level! Bring something to share for lunch (nothing fancy!) and your enthusiasm. All supplies and equipment will be provided.

January – October: LIVE DELIBERATELY Sessions

Live Deliberately is a monthly series of programs hosted by the Rensing Center in partnership with the Treehouse Project. Inspired by Nicole Troyer’s Backyard Revolution.

Our lives are more whirlwind than ever, but less secure, less healthy, and less meaningful in many ways. How can we realign our choices to create a deeper level of satisfaction with a smaller carbon footprint? In what ways are our cultural, economic and spiritual habits and assumptions dragging us down instead of lifting us up?

Over the course of a year we will gather on the fourth Tuesday of each month, to listen, learn, ponder a theme, and share ideas and supper. Readings will be encouraged through the Rensing Center’s library, and we’ll explore our various patterns as we know them and as we could transform them, in the context of a joyful and restored balance.

Starting at 7PM on January 25, in the Main Hall of the Rensing Center’s studio building, we’ll launch the program, which will begin with:

THINK – How does what we choose impact our community and our environment? How can we re-frame our perspective? This will be the first program, and we’ll use it to outline and project the later ones, which will include such topics as the following:
WORK –
How do we make a living at things that are consistent with our beliefs?
GROW –
How does farming impact our health and our planet? How can we make better sense of agriculture, at a price we can afford (personally and on a bigger scale)?
EAT –
How do we grow our own food? How do we cook with a conscience?
BUILD –
How do we provide for architecture and community planning that honors the materials and the context? How do we conserve and respect the resources we have? How do we design better communities, and waste less heat, lumber, and commuting time?
PRAY –
How do bring spiritual awareness and respectful approach to religious thought?
Other topics: CREATE, HEAL, MOVE, WRITE, COOK, REST, TRAVEL
What other subjects can you imagine??

Join us for this inspiring series of meetings, to open our conversation and thoughts to new ways of looking at our lives and our options. You will come away transformed.

Oct. 25: Live Deliberately Session 10: IMAGINE

Friend and author Bill Bruehl will lead this session, and introduce his book “A Pilgrimage Like No Other”

Bill writes: “Profound changes have been taking place in Christianity. People have been walking away from churches en masse. Recent polling data reveals that between 15 and 25 percent of Americans do not go to church and that 37% with a high school education or less stay away from churches. I recently read a claim that 55% of the population of Oconee County does not belong to any religious organization. Historically these changes are unprecedented. Why is this happening? What are the immediate consequences, and what might happen in the future? Could science be a gift to religion? Or is belief in the supernatural indispensable?”