Are you concerned about the divisive climate in Wisconsin’s civic life? Do you wonder how you and your congregation can play a constructive role in modeling a more life-giving approach to our differences in both church and the wider culture?

The Center for Courage & Renewal, in partnership with the Wisconsin Council of Churches and Edgewood College, is piloting an 8-week online learning experience for up to 60 Wisconsin clergy focusing on Parker J. Palmer’s recent book Healing the Heart of Democracy: How to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit.

Beginning the week of March 3rd, the course “Habits of the Heart for Healthy Congregations” will include weekly video and print content for individual learning, and small group real-time interactive online discussion circles to explore the practices of congregational ministry utilizing Palmer’s “Habits of the Heart.” Online learning technology is very user friendly; training and technical assistance is available for anyone who needs it.

Because Lent and Easter are such a busy time of year for pastors, there will be flexibility in engaging the weekly content. (There will be no online discussion circles or material sent during Holy Week.) Several options will be available for the weekly online small group learning circles.

The 8-week course will conclude with an all-day, face-to-face retreat on May 8th in the Madison area with Parker Palmer reflecting on the experience and exploring the next steps for the practice of ministry utilizing the “Habits of the Heart.” The retreat will be open only to those who have actively participated in the small group circles.

Apply early! Since we anticipate the course will be oversubscribed, interested pastors are invited to submit a simple one page application by February 3rd through the Wisconsin Council of Churches website at If accepted, the registration fee is $100. For applications received after the deadline, the fee is $125 if accepted.

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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