On Thursday, March 16th, Parker Palmer will be speaking at St. Andrew UMC from 7 to 8:30pm. The title of his talk is "The Beloved Community: Can the Church Be the Love that Casts Out Fear." He will be speaking about our conferences call to live as the Beloved Community, and offer a clear call to the Church to stand over and against the fear and scapegoating that is occurring so much in our world today. The event is free and open to the public. A free will offering will be taken. It will be live streamed and recorded.
Parker J. Palmer, founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal, is a world-renowned writer, speaker and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change. He has reached millions worldwide through his nine books, including Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, and Healing the Heart of Democracy.
Parker holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as eleven honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press. In 2010, Palmer was given the William Rainey Harper Award whose previous recipients include Margaret Mead, Elie Wiesel, and Paolo Freire. In 2011, he was named an Utne Reader Visionary, one of “25 people who are changing your world.”
He is the author of nine books, including several best-selling and award-winning titles: Healing the Heart of Democracy, The Heart of Higher Education (with Arthur Zajonc), The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, The Active Life, To Know As We Are Known, The Company of Strangers, and The Promise of Paradox. His latest book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, was chosen by Spirituality & Practice as one of the best books of 2011 on contemplation and social activism. In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named Dr. Palmer one of the thirty “most influential senior leaders” in higher education and one of the ten key “agenda-setters” of the past decade.
Since 2002, the Accrediting Commission for Graduate Medical Education has given annual Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” and “Courage to Lead” Awards to directors of exemplary medical residency programs. In 2005, Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer, was published (Jossey-Bass) by Sam M. Intrator (Editor). A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), Dr. Palmer and his wife, Sharon Palmer, live in Madison, Wisconsin.
A quote from Palmer's most recent book: Healing the Heart of Democracy:
"The question for congregations that want to help members develop democratic habits of the heart goes well beyond asking, “What words in our sacred texts are we called to live by?” The deeper, more demanding question is, “How can we create relationships among us that bring those words to life, ways of being together that are congruent with what we teach and preach?”
When a worshiping community develops embodied answers to those questions, its lived witness becomes a draw far more powerful than any doctrine or text. As the first-century theologian Tertullian observed, strangers in the ancient world—who had been conditioned by their culture to distrust and despise one another—had one compelling reason to join the early Christian church. As they looked in on those small gatherings of people who were once strangers to each other, they were astonished to “see how they love one another.”
–Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit (pp. 138 - 139)