The aspirations of the Center for Courage and Renewal are rooted in the work of Parker Palmer, a writer and speaker who focuses on education, community, leadership and spiritual issues. The Center is led by Terry Chadsey who has years of experience in public education, as well as an appreciation for the power of the local congregation. For clergy and other religious leaders, the program known as Circles of Trust provides a way to integrate who one is with what one does. The program takes an integrative approach, providing learning space for congregational leaders to reflect on the relationship between their inner world and their public practice. The Circles of Trust program is offered at various times during the year, and a schedule is available on the Courage and Renewal website. Many of the ideas shared in this program are represented in the Parker Palmer book A Hidden Wholeness. An annual gathering known as Habits of the Heart for Healthy Congregations explores the inevitable tensions and paradoxes of ministry. Outcomes include an appreciation of “otherness” and individual participants gaining a stronger sense of personal voice and agency. Staff member John Fenner serves a key role in the organization’s work with clergy and congregations. Fenner is the former Executive Director of the Center on Dialogue.
Reviewed by Tim Shapiro