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Category Archives: newsletter

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 »

You Don’t Have to Know What Is Happening

Where do we find courage, faith and hope to keep going in the hard times? Courage is never convenient. Faith isn’t a faucet you turn on and off. And hope is a choice. Courage, faith and hope may arise in our hearts if we’re willing to look inside for some answers and truth. The courage  Continue Reading »

Confiding in Others Is an Act of Love

Being human means having things in our lives that feel too painful, too raw, or too unformed to share. Yet secrets are not always shameful. Sometimes they are precious ideas we are batting around, or fragile hopes of possibility, or tender seeds for creating something new. Just as seeds need strong husks, we need protected  Continue Reading »

Showing Up with All of Who You Are

I’ve been noticing lately about how our cell phones, for one, lay claim to our attention and distract us from being fully present. In her book Reclaiming Conversation, Sherry Turkle points out research showing that the mere presence of a mobile phone on a nearby desk will decrease the quality of a conversation-and reduce empathy  Continue Reading »

Welcome: Opening Doors and Hearts

“Welcome!” It’s the word we use to receive guests into our home, opening ourselves to another’s presence or companionship. There’s a reason “welcome” comes first in our Touchstones. Give and receive welcome. Welcome sets the tone for trust to emerge, like playing middle C to tune a piano, a choir or an orchestra. Welcome is  Continue Reading »