Our Speakers

October 10 2019, 7:00 PM

Chris Heuertz

St. Philip the Deacon

Faith & Contemplation: How Prayer Changes the World

After 20 years in international humanitarian work, Chris Heuertz founded Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism in 2012 to support the development of consciousness by making contemplative practice accessible to individuals, communities, and organizations who engage in challenging social justice perils of our time. He’s authored four books including his most recent, The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth.


Chris has spent his life bearing witness to the possibility of hope in a world that has legitimate reasons to question God’s goodness. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Chris studied at Asbury University in Kentucky before moving to India where he was mentored by Mother Teresa for three years. While living in India, he helped launch South Asia’s first pediatric AIDS care home––creating a safe haven for children impacted by the global pandemic. A forerunner in the New Friar movement, Chris and his wife Phileena served with the Word Made Flesh community for nearly 20 years, working for women and children victimized by human traffickers in the commercial sex industry. His vocation has taken him to over 70 countries working among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor. In 2012 Phileena and Chris launched Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism.

Named one of Outreach magazine’s “30 Emerging Influencers Reshaping Leadership,” Chris is a curator of unlikely friendships, an instigator for good, a champion of collaboration, and a witness to hope. Chris fights for a renewal of contemplative activism. Chris is a frequent contributor or is frequently highlighted in such publications as Christianity Today, Duke’s “Faith & Leadership,” Q Ideas, Relevant Magazine, The Work of the People and the Washington Post’s “On Faith” section. He is known for his provocative storytelling, has written four books and contributed chapters to several others. For more than 20 years Chris has facilitated international solidarity pilgrimages in South/Southeast Asia, South America and thoughout Africa. As a discerning guide he thoughtfully curates small groups of conversation partners who press into the gift of pain and hope within contexts marked by deep poverty.

Chris and Phileena founded Gravity to support the development of spiritual consciousness by making contemplative practice accessible to individuals, communities and organizations who engage the challenging social justice perils of our time. Chris’ work with Gravity includes public speaking, teaching, writing on contemplative activism, facilitation of contemplative retreats, non-profit consultation, and Enneagram coaching.

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