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African Youth Leaders Explore Difference, Creativity, and Self-Awareness through Poetry

On August 10th, young leaders from eight East African schools set out to engage in dialogue across religious, ethnic and gender differences at a camp called The African Youth Leadership Experience (AYLE) 2014. The goals of AYLE were: to develop life skills in self-awareness and self care, appreciate and learn from difference, learn how to  Continue Reading »

A Better Way to Talk About Difference

Sherry Watt was looking for a way to navigate difficult dialogue around cultural difference, topics like race and religion that can start dangerous fires. “I needed a way to approach these contentious issues in the classroom without being consumed by it,” she said. Courage & Renewal gave Sherry a framework for changing the classroom into  Continue Reading »

Off the Map with Parker J. Palmer

In this podcast Parker J. Palmer and Jim Henderson talk about Parker’s background as a community organizer, why he veered away from a life in the “academy” and his recent book Healing The Heart of Democracy where he explores what it would look like if we truly practiced “staying in the room with difference.” Jim  Continue Reading »

Words of EnCOURAGEment #24 June 2013

Where do you find Both-And? “The poles of either-or, the choices we thought we had to make, may become signs of a larger truth than we had even dreamed–and in that truth, our lives may become larger than we ever imagined possible.” – Parker J. Palmer, The Promise of Paradox As Parker writes, it’s true  Continue Reading »

Habits of the Heart for Church Leaders

I begin this year with gratitude – gratitude deeper than I would have predicted. It was a privilege to serve as Moderator of The United Church of Canada from August 2009 to August 2012, but there were times when I felt I’d be lucky to survive. Thankfully, I completed my term feeling whole, even if  Continue Reading »

Can We Talk About Our Disagreements?

Courage & Renewal experiences help people practice a new way of having conversations that matter. In this guest blog, Rev. Nathan E. Kirkpatrick (a Courage & Renewal facilitator) suggests a way to hold the tensions in faith communities in more life-giving ways, even in a culture of divisive politics and broken systems. As discussions and  Continue Reading »

Habits of the Heart of Healthy Congregations

Why is it that many of us are surprised when conflicts arise in our churches and communities of faith? Is it because we think that a common call to worship will overcome our individual differences? Do we think that we have a special ability to leave our difficult and sometimes wounded personalities outside on Sundays?  Continue Reading »