Personal storytelling is one of the most intimate forms of communication. Telling our story in community has the potential to bridge divides, cultivate trust, and inspire action by inviting those gathered to better understand what others have lived, suffered, and overcome. All human divisions could be healed if we would only take the time to listen to one another’s stories.
The Hearth, led by founder Mark Yaconelli, is pioneering a seven-month certification program in community storytelling for those interested in the transformational power of stories. The Certificate in Community Storytelling offers a variety of experiential exercises, individual skill-building, practical teaching, online discussion groups, and written and online resources. Individuals who complete the certification course will:
Understand how stories function in our personal and public lives.
Learn how to create transformative events that deepen relationships within a local community or organization.
Explore narrative practices that promote individual growth, social awareness, and community action.
Learn how to create a variety of public story-sharing platforms that engender trust and vulnerability.
Gain concrete skills for community storytelling including story recruitment, event promotion, audience building, public participation, media integration, and fundraising.
Learn how to craft personal stories for speaking, teaching, and facilitation.
Increase skills for coaching groups and individuals in personal storytelling.
Discover methods for amplifying the voice of marginalized populations.
Learn how to apply storytelling techniques within families, friendships, and other informal gatherings.
The Certificate in Community Storytelling is ideal for pastors, nonprofit staff, social entrepreneurs, government officials, teachers, parents, journalists, social justice activists, and anyone seeking to strengthen families, local communities, or charitable organizations. The training program begins with a three-day intensive March 20-23, 2019, and ends with a closing intensive October 23-26, 2019. Both intensives will take place in retreat-like settings in Ashland, Oregon. Between the spring and fall workshops, participants will gather online for training, troubleshooting, and discussion with The Hearth founder, Mark Yaconelli. For more information go here.
Practicing Compassion: A Personal Retreat is for anyone who wants to deepen their capacity to respond to difficult people, divisive issues, and destructive emotions from a more grounded and graceful place. The event will be led by author and veteran retreat leader Mark Yaconelli, based on his work as co-founder of the Center for Engaged Compassion. The day will include a combination of presentation, contemplative exercises, and group discussion. The retreat will feature a morning conversation with author Anne Lamott on the inner work of compassion.
Retreat participants will increase their ability to receive compassion, cultivate skills for practicing self-compassion, and learn how to identify and transform difficult emotions. The event is ideal for parents, teachers, spouses, social workers, nonprofit leaders, activists, and anyone who wants to increase their capacity to heal suffering in self, others, and the world.
The Hearth presents three days of public workshops, facilitated discussions, and story gatherings focused on practicing compassion-based skills within our personal and public life. The featured attraction of the conference will be a Friday evening talk and Saturday morning conversation with celebrated author Anne Lamott. For full schedule and tickets go here.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26
The Hearth presents “The Kindness of Strangers.” Six local residents will share a true tale of transformation inspired by kindness. Tellers include Bill Rauch, Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble, and others. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. 7:00-9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, OR. $5 donation to benefit the Ashland Food Bank.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27
9:00-10:30am “Finding Our Way with Racial Differences.” A community conversation on race in Southern Oregon facilitated by Adam Davis of Oregon Humanities and Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble from Southern Oregon University. Held at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Ashland, OR. FREE
11:00am-12:30pm “Finding Our Way with the Unhoused.” A community conversation on homelessness, transciency, the housed and unhoused in Southern Oregon. Facilitated by Oregon Humanities. Held at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Ashland, OR. FREE
2:00-5:00pm. Various workshops around the city of Ashland on the practice of compassion. Locations and workshops TBA. FREE
7:30-9:00pm. “Rediscovering Mercy: An Evening with Anne Lamott.” Celebrated author Anne Lamott will give a talk based on her latest book Hallelujah Anyways followed with Q & A and book signing. Held at the SOU Music Recital Hall in Ashland, OR. $25 general admission. $35 reserved seating. Tickets available at www.brownpapertickets.com and Bloomsbury Books in Ashland beginning February 1.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28
9:00am to 4:00pm. “Practicing Compassion: A Practical Retreat.” Led by Mark Yaconelli including a morning conversation with Anne Lamott on the inner work of compassion. $45. Held at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Ashland, OR. Tickets available through www.brownpapertickets.com and at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland beginning February 1.
WESTMONT, IL—InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that The Gift of Hard Things by Mark Yaconelli was selected as the 2016 Silver Winner in the Self-Help category of the nineteenth annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.
In The Gift of Hard Things: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places Yaconelli uses extraordinary stories from his own life and the lives of others to offer a narrative journey through ways in which disappointments have turned into gifts. Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies, said, “To my thinking, Mark Yaconelli is one of this country’s most important and articulate spiritual teachers. Anyone seeking knowledge and union with God will be informed, edified, nourished, and utterly charmed by The Gift of Hard Things. I savored every story and was nurtured by the expression and depth. It is a book absolutely after my own heart.”
Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. Thousands of books are entered each year, and a panel of over 120 librarians and booksellers take part in the judging, narrowing it down to a group of finalists and winners that represent the best books, all independently published, in over sixty categories. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—were announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24.
Join Mark Yaconelli for a multi-day retreat at Austin Theological Seminary November 7-10th, 2016 . Titled “Soul Stop,” the four-day retreat is focused on rest and spiritual renewal. Mark will lead morning talks and various spiritual exercises focused on befriending God with mind, heart, soul, and strength. $600 is the fee and includes all the retreat content plus 3 nights lodging, meals for 4 days, individual spiritual direction, and a 1 hour massage! Space is limited to 14. This is a great way to spend election week! For more information go here.
I have many secular friends who carry a strong critique of Christianity and religion in general. I agree with most of their criticisms. I have many Christian friends who carry a strong critique of secular, non-religious life. I agree with most of their criticisms as well. All of us are trying to figure it out and there is no easy answer. I did a long interview with Nomad Podcast in the U.K. They talked with me about my present work, the life of the soul, and the dark night. This is one person’s attempt to talk about the spiritual life with integrity. You can listen to the podcast here.
“To my thinking, Mark Yaconelli is one of this country’s most important and articulate spiritual teachers. Anyone seeking knowledge and union with God will be informed, edified, nourished, and utterly charmed by The Gift of Hard Things. I savored every story and was nurtured by the expression and depth. It is a book absolutely after my own heart.” –Anne Lamott
[On May 10th I sent out a Facebook message seeking to raise $750 to help purchase supplies to help refugees in Calais. I had been invited by The Church in Wales to go and collect stories from refugees for an upcoming event in North Wales. I did not want to arrive empty-handed so I procured a van and asked The Hearth Community to make donations to purchase food. Within twelve hours over $1600 had been raised. Enough to purchase needed proteins (canned fish, beans) and vegetables/fruits (tomatoes, mandarin oranges). Thank you to everyone who gave generously! Here are my reflections on the trip.]
We were five men from North Wales: a welder, a carpenter, a government planner, a vicar, and me, the lone American. We had procured two vans and filled them with food, lumber, plastic tarps, fire extinguishers, construction tape, and other supplies. We were taking time from work and home to help displaced people in Calais, France. And the feeling? The feeling was good. It felt good to try and do something right, something useful. It felt good to follow the most basic of human impulses—to share what you have with someone who has little. Spirits were high. We shared music we loved, remembered epic concerts we had attended. We smiled while describing our children, talked admiringly of our spouses. We told stories of adventures we’d had in other countries—a speeding ticket in Death Valley, a bar fight in Belfast, a dangerous sheep outside of Liverpool. We were on a mission. We were doing something that mattered. Hearts awake, spirits high, the mind clear with purpose. Continue reading “A Trip to The Jungle”→