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Honesty Reveals Vocation

My name is Duncan. I’m the Executive Director with the Leadership Development Initiative. I’m also a postulant for the priesthood in the diocese. In the third chapter of Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer’s book about vocation. Chapter 3 is called When Way Closes. Palmer writes that “Vocation is rooted in the Latin word for  Continue Reading »

How a Pastor’s God-Sized Dream Helped Kids Be Ready for School

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. Thanks to Courage & Renewal, Reverend Carol Zaagsma found the courage and clarity to claim her “God-sized dream”of giving kids a safe place to learn and play during the summer. Reverend Carol was in her sixth year as a  Continue Reading »

The Emotionally Healthy Leader

An Interview with Courage & Renewal Alumnus and Author Peter Scazzero Peter Scazzero and his wife Geri discovered Courage & Renewal work like many: through a book. More specifically, it was the books of Parker Palmer that gave this evangelical pastor and author the tools to bring contemplative spirituality more fully into the life of  Continue Reading »

Turning To Wonder In Order To Create Safe Space

A few months ago, Reverend Wint Boyd shared a story on about how his congregation took an unexpected journey with a former clergyman who had been charged with vehicular homicide. Wint said it was “a tangible and daily experience of paradox and tension holding, to be sure.” Below, Wint recounts the story again and  Continue Reading »

“And” is the Way of Mercy

Editor’s Note: Dr. R. Scott Colglazier is a pastor, author, and speaker, but for a few short days at our annual Habits of the Heart for Healthy Congregations retreat, his principle role become ‘learner.’ Below are his daily reflections on the theme of the retreat, “Embracing the Tensions of Ministry.” To read more, visit his Take a  Continue Reading »

Open Honest Questions in Ministry: Moving Out Of Familiar Ruts And Independent Silos

I love the cross-professional nature of many Courage & Renewal events. As a leader and as a participant, I’ve repeatedly been exposed to new language, new images and new expressions of a healthy and deeply spiritual life. In almost every case, I’m pushed beyond my own limited language and exposed to fascinating and rich ways  Continue Reading »

Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe

The following is an excerpt from Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe, a new book by Erin Lane with a Foreword by Parker J. Palmer. …. I don’t have to travel far from home for my last Courage & Renewal retreat. It’s just a few hours in the car from Durham to the  Continue Reading »

Embracing the Tensions of Ministry

In the stillness of February, with sheets of ice still clinging to the pavement and snow as resolute as rocks, a group of clergy and congregational leaders met in Madison, Wisconsin to dream of summer. With red-rimmed noses and frosted fingers, we gathered around the fire at Parker and Sharon Palmer’s house to plan this  Continue Reading »

The Great Potential to be Whole

For our first gathering as Fellows of the Beatitudes Society, I volunteered to be a focus person in one of the clearness committees. Never had I imagined what the experience would do for me. The process has provided great clarity, has offered me guidance, and has helped me uncover inner tools to face life questions  Continue Reading »

Young Women Speak the Unspeakable in New Anthology

Excerpt from the introduction of Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith (White Cloud Press, Oct 2013), co-edited by Erin S. Lane and Enuma Okoro I was a graduate student of theology when word of her actions reached me. During a seminary class on preaching, her professor had warned students not to wear  Continue Reading »