Dear People’s People,

Quaker educator and writer Parker Palmer is one of my sources of wisdom. Over the last months I have been turning to his Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit as I try to understand how I—and we—are called to be in this new and challenging political times.

Among the wisdom he shares in this book are five habits of the heart that are crucial to sustaining democracy. They are:

‘We must understand that we are all in this together.’

‘We must develop an appreciation of the value of otherness.’

‘We must cultivate the ability to hold tension in life-giving ways.’

‘We must generate a sense of personal voice and agency.’

‘We must strengthen our capacity to create community.’

Palmer asserts that cultivating and practicing these habits has the power to transform ourselves, our relationships, and our world and I would love to explore them with you over the next months.

To that end, I will be offering a new adult religious education class beginning in April. Sustaining Democracy: Habits of the Heart will begin on Tuesday, April 18 and run for five consecutive weeks. The class will meet at 3:30pm and 7:00pm. The afternoon and evening sessions will be the same—I am double scheduling the class in hopes of increasing accessibility and participation. Each 90 minute session will explore one of Palmer’s Habits of the Heart through story, video, discussion, and personal reflection. Feel free to attend all of the sessions or just one. Feel free to attend an afternoon class one week and the evening class on the other week. Please let me know if you need childcare.

This class will be a chance to explore the spiritual and personal work necessary to sustain democracy. This won’t be political organizing, but a chance to reflect on the inner work we all need to do to fully live our democratic values and sustain our democracy. This class will be a chance for us all to learn together about these topics. My hope is that I will learn from you all just as much as you will learn from me.

See you in church,
Rachel

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