2495 Fox Gap Road • Bangor, PA • 18013
(P)610-588-1793 • (F)610-588-8510   (email)kirkridge@kirkridge.org

Courage & Renewal

Courage & Renewal

If we are willing to embrace the challenge of becoming whole, we cannot embrace it alone—at least, not for long: we need trustworthy relationships to sustain us, tenacious communities of support, to sustain the journey toward an undivided life. Taking an inner journey toward rejoining soul and role requires a rare but real form of community that I call a “circle of trust.” —Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness (adapted)

All Courage and Renewal® Circles offered at Kirkridge are based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, which focuses on cultivating our personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it. In a Circle of Trust®, we are invited to slow down, listen and reflect in a quiet and focused space. The Circle of Trust® approach helps us find the clarity and courage to live with a sense of true vocation and to express the deepest values and wisdom of true self in and through our work in the world. This unique approach, described in Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness, creates a safe and hospitable space in which the soul can reveal itself.

Each program offers participants an opportunity to reflect, recharge, and renew themselves. Participants  will gain practical tools to deepen their capacity to create safe space, individually and in community. As a result of each retreat, participants will develop deeper insights into themselves and be able to bring greater authenticity and integrity to their work and relationships.

  • Focus, without distraction, on what deeply matters to us and connect with the guidance of our own inner wisdom
  • Clarify our sense of purpose and integrity
  • Practice deep listening and work with honest, open questions
  • Experience and practice a powerful discernment process drawn from the Quaker tradition, known as a “Clearness Committee”
  • Deepen our courage to live more wholeheartedly

We invite you to join with us in the eternal conversation about things that matter, conducted with passion and discipline. (Parker Palmer)

For more information on this work see: www.couragerenewal.org.

Introduction to a Courage and Renewal Retreat®

Introductory retreats are a one-time stand alone programs that provide an experience of all the basic elements of a Courage retreat.

Theme based Retreats: Through the year we will offer theme based stand alone retreats. Such themes have included: Taking Heart Once More, Be the Change: Seeking the Soul of Democracy, and Your One Wild and Precious Life.

Seasonal Retreat Series: Committing to a series retreat is the finest way to experience the depth of this work. Participants come together five times over a period of approximately eighteen months. A series of retreats enables participants to listen more deeply and make life giving changes in their lives.


New leadership is needed for new times, but it will not come from finding more wily ways to manipulate the external world. It will come as we who serve and teach and lead find the courage to take an inner journey toward both our shadows and our light—a journey that, faithfully pursued, will take us beyond ourselves to become healers of a wounded world.
~ Parker J. Palmer

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves.
~ Thomas Merton

In the course of 20 years of working as a pastor and seeking to help others with the work of connecting role and soul, there have been dramatic changes in the institutions and cultures in which we live and work. Conversation with colleagues in other professions confirms a widespread feeling that many are walking uncharted and unknown vocational paths. To remain soulfully alive and professionally enthused, we need communities in which we can practice the art of deep listening. I am convinced that the Courage retreats offers just such an opportunity; and thereby plays unique role in the renewal and vitalization of individuals, groups, and institutions. In an era where we have too much information and stimulation, it will be more and more necessary to protect and nurture inner wisdom. A Courage and Renewal® seasonal retreat series can help us do just that.
~ A pastor and participant in seasonal series