Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to have the most up-to-date information on upcoming events.
Haunted Museum Event. Friday, October 21, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. ages 21+ Celebrate Halloween at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History! Learn about some of our creepiest and most mysterious specimens, enjoy a drink with friends, and show off your costume as you explore the museum. Laura and Maria will be tabling during this event, come say hi!
- Seasonal songs performed by The Pitt Pendulums, Pitt’s oldest a cappella group, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m
- Murder ballads performed by acoustic grunge band ilyAIMY at 8:00 p.m.
- Put together a vampire protection kit to help you stay safe this scary season.
- Experience Haunted Pittsburgh’s best ghost stories at 9:00 p.m.
- Make your own spell book to store your magical knowledge.
- Decorate mini pumpkins from Sperdute Farms.
- Learn about cursed minerals and meet Fred the Crystal Skull.
- Take a flashlight tour of Art of the Diorama to look for creatures that lurk in the shadows.
- Pick up a treat (no tricks!) for wearing a costume.
Green Burial Council Conference 2022. Laura and Maria from Penn Forest and Mary Ann from The Forest Conservation Burial Ground in Oregon are again presenting at the Green Burial Council Conference this year! Their presentation, Creating Secular Ceremonies: Personal Stories and Guidance, takes place virtually on Saturday, October 22, at 1:30 p.m.
This session will begin with a brief introduction on what is meant by ‘secular’ and the role of secular traditions in our current funeral culture. Personal sharings by green cemetery operators and families will shine a light on various secular funeral traditions and practices from around the country. These stories will give attendees an awareness of what’s possible as we plan a funeral for ourselves and our loved ones. This session will also get attendees involved by having them participate in a workshop where they will plan a simple secular service for themselves or someone else.
If you would like to watch their and anyone else’s presentation, please register by clicking here.
Oakmont Fall Festival. The Oakmont Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual fall festival on Saturday, October 29, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Oakmont Fall Festival kicks off with a Halloween parade. Afterward, kids can trick or treat at the stores and vendors. There will be music at the clocktower, lots of vendors, train rides, a pie eating contest, a pumpkin hunt for the young ones, a scarecrow contest, a 50/50 raffle, a costume contest, kids games, face painting, pumpkin painting, yummy food & treats, and much more!
Laura and Maria will set up a table at the event, so come visit us!
Winter Solstice Celebration. Join Penn Forest, together with sponsors Spiritworks and Highmark Caring Place for a Winter Solstice Time of Remembrance and Light.
When: Wednesday, December 21, 2022, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, 121 Colorado Street, Verona, PA 15147
Honor the legacy and memories of loved ones who are no longer in your life at a touching winter solstice ceremony sponsored by Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, Spiritworks, and Highmark Caring Place. During these difficult times, the support of friends and neighbors offers comfort when it’s needed most. Lighting the way to the future acknowledges your loss and ensures that your loved one will remain forever in your heart.
Light a candle in memory of a deceased loved one. Join friends, family, and neighbors at sunset to walk along the path of 100 luminaries and enjoy music, an outdoor fire circle, and the burning of a Yule log to celebrate the longer days ahead. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or wassail and live music provided by the talented Deborah Byrum and David McLaughlin.
*To contribute to good works in the new solar year, participants are asked to bring canned food
that will be donated to the local food pantry.*
**Please bring bells, if you have them, to ring in the Solstice New Year!**
***Be sure to dress for the weather.***
Join us on August 6th at 10am for another walk & talk with local naturalist, Scott Hill! We will meet at the main parking lot and head over to the hiking trail from there. See what our woods have to offer during the summer months including edible plants and (hopefully) interesting fungi. There will also be a small focus on smells – like spicebush and hay-scented ferns. Our hiking trail is about two thirds of a mile long and there are some steep hills along the way. This event is great for kids, adults, and everyone in between.
Please email Maria at email@example.com to register and let us know how many people will be in your group. We will be capping the walk at 25 people. We hope to see you there!
2022 Summer Solstice Festival – Tuesday, June 21 2022, 3-8pm – The Meadow at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park (Remembrance Ceremony at 3pm)
Join us during our 2022 Summer Solstice Festival, hosted by Spiritworks and Penn Forest. Enjoy the sun that shines on each being on planet earth. Join with people of centuries past in this midsummer celebration. Solstice (Latin: “solstitium”) means “sun-stopping,” because it is the point where the sun appears to rise and set – and stops moving northward and starts moving southward. It is the longest day of the year.
Steel City Ukeleles
Aspinwall Drum Circle with Special Guests
Eucalyptus’ eclectic music
Listen to the vocal offerings of Ted Brown with his guitar
-Paint a Kindness Rock to take and plant in your own neighborhood
-Face painting and dress up costumes
-Write and fly your summer wishes and intentions into the wind
-Walk the 40-foot labyrinth
-Make a beaded creation
-Get your picture taken with one of the chickens!
-Join in meditation and yoga
-Visit the Farm’s sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and donkey
-Create a unique photo image with Memories into More
-Hike the trail or walk the peaceful grounds
Want to be part of the event? All of our performers and helpers are VOLUNTEERS. This is how this community endeavour can be offered FREE. Are you able to lend a hand for 2 hours or more? Are you able to sponsor one of the arts or crafts? Email Tricia: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Donations, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/…/spiritworks-center-for… and search “Summer Solstice” or visit https://spiritworks.eventbrite.com and search “Summer Solstice” to register.
Nature Walk & Talk – Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at 2:00pm
2021 Winter Solstice Illumination Remembrance – at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park (121 Colorado St. Verona, PA 15147) on December 21st from 5:00-8:00pm
Honor the legacy and memories of loved ones who are no longer in your life at a touching winter solstice ceremony sponsored by VITAS, a Greater Pittsburgh hospice care provider, Spiritworks, and Penn Forest Natural Burial Park.
Light a candle in memory of a loved one who died. Join fellow mourners at sunset to walk along the path of 100 luminaries and enjoy music and an outdoor fire circle to honor those who have gone on before us with the burning of a Yule log. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or wassail and live music by the acoustic guitars of The Hawthorns.
During these difficult times, lighting the way to the future acknowledges your loss. Even through the toughest times, the support of friends and neighbors can offer comfort when it’s needed most.
This free event is open to the public. CDC Guidelines will be followed.
Green Burial Talk – with Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh at Community Forge in Wilkinsburg (1256 Franklin Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221)
UPDATE – This talk was originally scheduled for October 17th at 6pm but was canceled due to poor weather. The talk will be rescheduled for a different date. Once we know the new date and time, we’ll update it here.
We will meet in the lot west of the building, and you can park in the lot east of the building. Please be sure to wear a mask.
2021 Green Burial Council Conference: Green Life, Death, and Future – October 25th at 7:30pm via Zoom
Laura, Maria, and Mary Ann (from The Forest Conservation Burial Ground in Oregon who apprenticed with us last year) will be presenting at the Green Burial Council’s annual conference this year.
Our presentation is titled Green Future: The Next Generation of Deathcare Workers. We will explore the changing face of after-deathcare with an influx of young professionals who have diverse identities and backgrounds. We will share our personal experiences and national demographics that will lead to discussions on strategies for inclusion, the importance of mentoring, and managing for change. If you’d like to watch our presentation, you can register on the Green Burial Council’s website by clicking here.
Oakmont Fall Festival – October 30th 10am – 3pm
Oakmont is having their Fall Festival on October 30th from 10am – 3pm. There will be fun activities, delicious food, and several vendors set up. We will have a booth set up where you can get your picture taken in our coffin and with our skeleton mascot, Jasper!
Green Burial Talk – Mt. Lebanon Public Library on December 1st from 7:00-8:30pm
This will likely be a virtual Zoom presentation. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Laura at email@example.com or by phone at 724-612-2492.
Summer Solstice Festival – June 20, 2021, 4-7 pm
About this Event
It’s the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. A time for revelry steeped in local culture and history. Come enjoy the sun that shines within each being on planet Earth and join with people of centuries past in this midsummer celebration for the young and young at heart, families and children. Join Spiritworks and Penn Forest in celebrating the solstice at Penn Forest on Sunday, June 20th from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for this free community event.
- Strum along with Steel City Ukuleles, join the beat with Aspinwall Drum Circlewith special guests, learn new movements from Tuesday Night International Folk Dance of Pittsburgh, enjoy Eucalyptus‘ eclectic music and delight in the acoustic guitars of the Hawthornes
- Revival Chili food truck, Millie’s Ice Cream food truck
- Paint a Kindness Rock, bead creations with Diane Wilson Jewelry and the Wonderful Wilson Women, weave a dream catcher
- Write and fly your Summer Wishes and Intentions into the wind
- Kindness Rock Scavenger Hunt with door prizes by dayowl.com
- Walk the 40 ft. Labyrinth
- Meditation and yoga with Colleen McGonigle and Myrna Patterson
- 4:00pm “Time of Remembrance”, sponsored by VITAS Healthcare. “White Flag” unity and remembrance in honor of your loved ones and those we’ve lost due to COVID-19.
For more information: www.spiritworks.org, or to register (which will help with our planning) go to: https://spiritworks.eventbrite.com
(This is an outdoor event and will take place rain or shine. All attendees are required to follow present COVID state and county guidelines at the time of the event such as wearing masks and keeping proper social distancing from other unrelated parties).
Winter Solstice Illumination Remembrance Gathering – December 21, 2020, 5:00 pm
Amid music and drums at the outdoor yule log circle, we will raise our candles for love, hope and healing.
About this Event
Join with VITAS Healthcare, Spiritworks, and Penn Forest for a Winter Solstice Time of Remembrance and Light
Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a time to remember what has passed and celebrate the light to come. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from
the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel. Begin the observance at 5:00 p.m., by following the path of 100 luminaries. Amid music and drums we will enjoy the outdoor fire circle, bringing to mind those who have moved on to the unseen realm, and burning a Yule log to mark the day. Then, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or wassail.
**To contribute to good works in the new solar year participants are asked to bring canned food that will be contributed to the local food pantry.
(This is an outdoor event and will take place rain or shine. All attendees are required to follow present COVID state and county guidelines at the time of the event such as wearing masks and keeping proper social distancing from other unrelated parties. The number of attendees is limited, so pre-registration on eventbrite is required. Please check back the week of the event in case of cancelation).
Funeral, Burial, Memorial Officiant Certification Program. March 27, 28, & 29
Fewer and fewer people have a religious affiliation nor a pastor, rabbi, imam or other
faith-based professional to help them in their grief and officiate at end-of-life events.
This is why those who feel called to the work are now being invited to step forward to fill
this needed compassionate service.
The curriculum covers:
- Articulating the Value of the Funeral
- YOU as the Facilitator
- Listening Skills
- Family Meetings
- Making it Personal
- Service Planning
- Creating Sacred Space
- Writing the Service
- Being Mindful of Many Traditions
- Music and Readings Resources
- Composing the Service in Printed Form
- Closing Ceremonies
- Creating and Facilitating Rituals and Ceremonies
- Encouraging Participation
- Presentation Skills
- Reflections on the Occasion or Meditation
- Biography, Life Story, Slide Show, or Video
- Remembrances from Family and Friends
- Closing Words, Prayer, Blessing, Benediction
Friday and Saturday: Beacon Hill Community Room, Beacon Hill Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Sunday: Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, Verona, PA
Friday: 5:30PM – 8:30PM
Saturday: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Sunday: 9:00AM – 1:00PM
To complete the certification process:
- Co-facilitate as an officiant from start to completion.
- Demonstrate proficiency by officiating at two services as primary facilitator while under observation.
- Meet for a final one-on-one to discern readiness.
- Compose and submit photo and article for Spiritworks Officiant Listing
To register submit:
- Resume containing your complete contact information.
- Written statement as to why you wish to be certified as an Officiant.
- Registration commitment fee of $50.00.
or send check directly to Spiritworks, INC.
- The remaining $200 is due 2 weeks before class.
- Total for the Class: $250
Submit Materials to:
Patricia D. Brown, Director of Spiritworks, Inc.
7282 Beacon Hill Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Winter Solstice Celebration. Come join us at sunset on Winter Solstice on Saturday, December 21, at 4:55 p.m.
Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.
We’ll begin the observance at 4:55 p.m. by following the path of lights to our circle of light. Amid music and drums, enjoy the outdoor fire circle, burning a Yule log to mark the day and to remember those who have gone on before us. It will be a time of both remembrance and celebration.
To begin the new solar year with a good work, participants are asked to bring canned food that will be contributed to the local food pantry.
Forest Bathing and QiGong. Saturday November 2, 2019, 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm.
We will be hosting a forest bathing and qigong worksop on November 2, 2019, with Moshe Sherman. Forest bathing is a meditative practice that was developed in Japan as a way to balance the stress of modern urban life by immersing ourselves in the forest environment.
In Japanese, the name for this practice us Shin-rin Yoku, which translates as “bringing in the forest energy.” To help assist the process of “bringing in the energy,” we will practice simple movement and breathing exercises known as Qigong (Chee-Gong).
Moshe will also provide individual Qigong sessions to those interested at a cost of $10-$20 on a sliding scale.
Moshe Sherman has lived in Pittsburgh for over 20 years. Since 2016, he has been a practicing Medical Qigong Therapist at Cloud Gate Pittsburgh in Edgewood. He has been teaching Qigong and forest bathing in Frick Park for over three years and looks forward to the event in November.
Fall Memorial Tree and Shrub Planting 2019. Saturday October 19, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Our annual tree and shrub planting is fast approaching. If you would like to plant a tree or shrub in someone’s memory or just because, this is a great time to do it! This is a wonderful way to help us reforest the land here at Penn Forest. We have a great selection of trees and shrubs from our local nursery. Email or call Laura to get the order form: firstname.lastname@example.org and 724 612 2492. Orders due by 10/11/2019.
Death Café at Penn Forest. Sunday July 21, 2:00 pm.
A Death Café is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives
or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling
Please bring a chair and a hand-held dessert or snack to share if you wish. We
will start gathering at 1:30 and start the event promptly at 2:00 pm.
Afterwards, from about 3:30 to 4:30 for those interested in staying, there will be
a meditation labyrinth walk using Penn Forest’s 40’ x 40’ outdoor labyrinth.
Rain date is the following Sunday, July 28, same times.