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Category Archives: newsletter

How do you fortify your heart in hard times?

Music can offer sustenance in hard times, especially when songs — and the singing — are a shared experience. We invite you to post your favorite “soul fortifying” songs to make a shared soundtrack together.

How Do You Show Up?

When I was a child growing up in the Gulf Coast of Texas I lived through three large hurricanes that brought significant flooding to my community. So I watched in horror as Hurricane Harvey descended on Houston and environs, and as South Asia lost over a thousand people to their flooding disaster. My family was  Continue Reading »

The Courage to Play

Back in 2013, Bruce Springsteen pulled a request from an audience member at a concert to play Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Which he had never performed before. Which his band had never been prepped for. He hums and strums and struggles to find the right key. The band is looking mystified and frustrated.  Continue Reading »

Something Good to Do Together

“How do you get people to be willing to come together across differences and really connect?” When someone asked me this question recently, something about the way it was asked caught my attention. I suddenly focused on the “willing to come together” part. Much of the focus seems to be on trying to find a  Continue Reading »

Welcoming the Stranger

What does the word “community” evoke for you? Family? Friends? Neighbors? Religious groups? The Cheers bar where everybody knows your name? We are social creatures that need company – to know and feel known. Isolation withers our spirits. Companions call us out of ourselves, and reflect back to us what we put out into the  Continue Reading »

Welcoming Change

With my final Words note before I retire and pass this task on to my colleague Terasa Cooley next month, I want to reflect on what I find at the very heart of the Courage & Renewal approach that CCR has brought to you for over 25 years: encouragement.  I cannot hear the word encouragement without  Continue Reading »

Welcoming Spring

Here in Seattle, we are drenched in record-setting amounts of rain. Learning to welcome what’s in front of me – this season of transition into spring, into change – is blurred by an overwhelming sense of saturation. I wonder if you feel this way, too. It’s not just the literal change from winter to spring. Wherever  Continue Reading »

Welcoming Hope

How have you been welcoming hope these days? I’m finding that the need is great today to welcome hope in myself and those around me.  As I’ve been staring with a heavy heart into what feels like a widening “tragic gap” (what Parker describes as “the gap between the hard realities around us and what  Continue Reading »

Giving and Receiving Welcome

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we  Continue Reading »

Listening for Our True North

Click here to download the Touchstars image. Star light, star bright, First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight. I can’t help looking for the first star in the evening sky.   I have two granddaughters now, growing faster than I can believe. I find  Continue Reading »