My New Book Is Out!

I am so excited to announce the release of my new book Between the Listening and the Telling: How Stories Can Save Us, with a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Anne Lamott. This book is a labor of love that seeks to distill the essential insights I’ve learned from over two decades of working with story and community, story and healing, story and the struggle for meaning. It’s a deeply personal work that shares images from my own life as well as the lived experiences of so many people I have encountered over the years—from farmers in North Wales, to refugees in Calais, to climate scientists in Colorado, to local folks from here in Southern Oregon. It’s a book rooted in the community building work of The Hearth, and one that I believe will give you greater empathy and hope for humanity.

To celebrate the new book and the work it represents, The Hearth is sponsoring:

  • Oregon Small Town Tour. Workshops, conversations, book talks and other events to help folks across Oregon experience the power of story. See tour listings here.
  • National Tour. The Hearth’s Stories on the Road Tour with workshops, trainings, retreats, and other events to help folks across the U.S. experience the power of story. See growing list of towns and events here.

Story as the Practice of Relationship

How do you strengthen, heal, and bridge relationships? Story can be an accessible, creative, built-in practice for helping families, colleagues, and communities become more connected. Each year The Hearth produces a five-month certification training in community storytelling. The program includes two, three-day intensives, individual coaching, and monthly webinars led by Mark Yaconelli. There are both online and in-person tracks. Special early bird reduced pricing through December 31, 2021. For more information go here.

Register for The Certificate in Community Storytelling

The Hearth is offering an intensive 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 personal, professional, and community settings.

The Hearth Certificate Program is a one week concentrated intensive held April 19-24, 2020. Six months of additional teaching and coaching with Mark Yaconelli is available from May through October 2020 for an additional fee. You can register here.

Learn how to use story and story facilitation to bring more compassion, connection, and beauty into your life, your family, and your community.-Lucinda Moeglein 2019 participant

Whether you do this course for personal or professional reasons, it will give you hope for humanity.–Khaliqa Baqi 2019 participant

You will be empowered to impact and love others through the practice and power of storytelling.–Ted Hammett 2019 participant

certificatre folks crazy


Stories Make Us More Human: An Interview with Mark Yaconelli

Here is recent interview with Ford Family Foundation on The Hearth. Our next Hearth event is March 19th. The theme is “Letting Go.”


What does the popularity of storytelling programs like The Moth and The Hearth tell us about who we are and the time we’re living in?

We’re living in a time of loneliness. People feel alienated from one another. We have increased our connection to technology but in some ways those technologies have left us feeling more alone. As we get more high-tech, there comes a desire for more “high-touch.”

But it’s rare for us to share physical space anymore. We’re seeing a decline in some of the traditional institutions that used to help build intergenerational relationships—Elks Club and Lions Club, for example, as well as mainstream churches. So there is an increased longing to be connected to other people, because we are social creatures.

We want to be connected, and stories do that. Stories make us more human. They bring us to our senses in a way that other ways of connecting don’t always do. Stories are like a little transportation system. Neuroscientists are discovering that the way your brain processes a story you are telling, stimulates the same part of my brain as I listen to it. When you tell me something scary, my adrenaline goes up. I feel it. In some ways, I can join you in your experience.

Continue reading “Stories Make Us More Human: An Interview with Mark Yaconelli”