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A Geography of Grace: Past Participants Reflect

Watch videos from our participants in the 2012 A Geography of Grace alumni institute for clergy and congregational leaders about what drew them to Courage & Renewal work and then read quotes about how they are “bringing it home.”

“I’m hoping to start two different groups. I’m hoping to use this work to stabilize the pastoral care team in my congregation… and I hope to use it as an outreach tool outside my congregation to create support for people who are working in social change movements.” — Julia McKay
(See Julia’s written reflection below.)

“I’m trying to find avenues to see how it might impact our own leadership and leadership development for people to listen to their own souls, their vocations and their sense of calling.” — Steve Borgard

“The curriculum, A Geography of Grace, is giving us even more tools to pull groups together in the church and begin to explore each person’s inner teacher and find ways that we can help people to blossom.” — Cathy Barker

“My hope is to take this back and identify 8-10 people that I think have the potential to be good leaders in this kind of small group work, do this session with them, and equip them to then lead small groups of their own so that hopefully the circle will get bigger and we will have more people who are in touch with the divine within them.” — Susan Otey


Reflection from Reverend Julia McKay, Unitarian Universalist Minister
Geography of Grace and Seasonal Series Participant

THANK YOU for the beautiful work that we all did with the Courage & Renewal material these past two years [as part of a seasonal retreat series]. It has been nourishing and grounding for me.

I am continuing the work by teaching it now through the Geography of Grace curriculum. I have two circles going. One is with seven women in a private women’s circle. And the other in my congregation — there are fourteen people involved! So, we split into two even for the large group work. I also led a couple of discussions this fall around the Heart of Democracy during election season. So, it has been a Parker Palmer fall at Glacier UU…

What I can say right now is this: As you know teaching something is really when you learn it — and I am finding the work embedding itself even deeper in my psyche and soul. The work is proving powerful for participants and each week there are emotionally moving reports about meaningful results from practicing the Touchstones and the Open & Honest Questions out in their lives. I am enjoying facilitating the work as on the ground training for my pastoral care associates as well as my small group ministry leaders. Even after all my years in counseling and ministry, I know of no better grounding in how to listen deeply.

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