Welcome to the CATALYST, a Courage & Renewal newsletter for you, our supporters, with true stories of how your gifts make a difference. Read the previous issue.
You Helped This Leader Speak Truth to Power
Jeffrey Rock is an openly gay, progressive, political candidate minister from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. And you helped him at an incredibly important time in his life – read on to find out how!
“In some ways, it feels like I stick out like a sore thumb. But I was out and open when I was called to this congregation. It’s a very progressive congregation, in the midst of a place that’s not very progressive.”
Jeffrey’s daily work in ministry was so incredibly busy and task-oriented that he often felt that he was running from one fire to the next. Ironically, his work as a minister made no room for spiritual reflection or self-care. Still, he loved his work and didn’t want to leave it.
He just knew he wanted to find new opportunities within ministry. As a young minister, Jeffrey had an overwhelming feeling of “blessed unrest.” Though he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do yet, he knew he wanted a different kind of leadership experience – one that could go beyond the borders of his daily work.
When local Courage & Renewal facilitator Mardi Tindal encouraged him to attend Courage to Lead for Young Leaders & Activists, he jumped at the opportunity.
“The Courage to Lead retreat grounded me and helped me be able to speak out with courage. It was deeply intentional and called me to a new way of being—more grounded and holistic – rather than task-oriented.”
Flying home from the retreat Jeffrey started to read Parker Palmer’s book Healing the Heart of Democracy. He couldn’t put the book down. The retreat, followed by the book, helped him uncover what he really wanted and needed – to do next. He wanted to run for public office.
“I had a lot of self-doubt. I never thought that I was good enough or old enough to be involved in politics. It was something I might do later in my life. Then, I just made the decision that even though I knew I didn’t have a hope in hell of winning any election, I would step up and speak truth to power.”
Thanks to you, Jeffrey was able to attend Courage to Lead for Young Leaders & Activists. That retreat was a critical step in helping him clear the path and find his way forward. To have the courage to speak truth to power by running for public office, even when the odds were stacked against him. We need more people like that in our world — and you’re making it happen! Thank you
Wow! Thanks to You this Young Leader Rocks!
Manon Bullock is a young social justice activist and leader in Indiana. Thanks in part to your generosity, she attended a Courage to Lead for Young Leaders & Activists retreat in the midst of a long, soul-searching time in her life and work.
When asked about it, Manon exclaimed without hesitation, “Everything changed, really. It was amazing.”
“I felt like I could fly. I think I just started to really focus on what I could do, on how I could make a difference using the resources and the knowledge and the vision that I already had.
“Now, every day I feel like I’m doing the work that I’m supposed to be doing!”
Thank you for helping Manon and so many young leaders like her. The world is a better place because of your gift to them, and their gifts to our world!