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A Citizen’s Heart: A Retreat for Renewal

Friday, November 17, 2017 - Sunday, November 19, 2017
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Mercy Center - San Francisco, CA

November 17 – 19, 2017
Fri 3 pm – Sun 1 pm

The Mercy Center
Burlingame, CA


Click to register now
Register by November 1st


“These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine wrote during one of our nation’s darkest moments.  Now many of us are feeling called to renew our roles as citizens but to do so in a way that honors our souls and the souls of others.  We invite you to participate in a retreat that offers an occasion to pause from our busy schedules and the daily news cycle and to reflect on the deeper questions that arise when we act as citizens.  Taking inspiration from Terry Tempest Williams’ conviction that “the human heart is the first home of democracy,” the retreat will provide a safe place to explore the motives and the hopes calling us to action and the “habits of the heart” we need in order to sustain our activity.

The retreat’s facilitators have been prepared by the Center for Courage and Renewal to offer retreats based on the Circle of Trust® approach, including time and space for contemplation as individuals and in small groups, the use of poetry and stories, journaling, and silence.  You will listen and be listened to—without performance evaluation, ego or attention to status—and encounter ways to strengthen your own capacity for self-renewal.  There will also be space and time to rest and enjoy the serenity of the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California.



Meet Your Facilitator

Cliff Penwell leads change by teaching leadership skills, coaching and mentoring, and consensus-based facilitation. His life’s work is to provide a safe and deep sense of welcome for what is true, but often hidden, in each person. Cliff’s background includes teaching leadership skills, consulting for large-systems change, coaching and mentoring, consensus-based facilitation and dialogue. Cliff’s life experience includes living in—and leading—spiritual communities run on principles of social justice for over 25 years, working to ensure equitable distribution of resources and the right use of power. He is a founding facilitator for the newly established Courage to Lead for Social Impact program for the Northwest. He is also a board member of the Right Use of Power Institute, dedicated to helping people and organizations build power in ways that benefit all rather than lead to abuse or harm.

Jim Quay, Ph.D. retired in 2008 after 25 years as executive director of the California Council for the Humanities, a non-profit which develops and supports public programs and documentary films in the humanities. After graduating from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, he was a caseworker in central Harlem as a conscientious objector, then earned degrees in English literature from U.C. Berkeley. After a summer fellowship with the Bay Area Writing Project, he taught writing at U.C. Santa Cruz and was an associate producer with California Public Radio, where he co-produced an award-winning series, Vietnam Reconsidered: Lessons from a War.

About Our Venue

Mercy Center is a peaceful retreat and meeting center, located on a 40-acre site 15 miles south of San Francisco. The grounds include an outdoor labyrinth, meditation garden, chapel, and book and gift shop.

2300 Adeline Dr, Burlingame, CA 94010  |



Cost: Cost for the retreat is $600 and includes lodging (single occupancy with common bathrooms and showers), six meals, all retreat materials and supplies, facilitation and administrative expenses.

We are committed to making participation possible for all who wish to attend, regardless of ability to pay.  If cost is an issue for you, please contact either Cliff Penwell or Jim Quay.  If you can make a contribution to help others who cannot afford the full registration or might otherwise not be able to participate, your gift will be grateful received.

Participation:  Participation is limited to 20 individuals.  Early registration is encouraged.

Registration:  See registration form on back of flyer.

Questions about this retreat? Contact….

Cliff Penwell at or Jim Quay at

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