Three days of public workshops, facilitated discussions, and story gatherings focused on practicing compassion-based skills within our personal and public lives. The featured attraction of the conference will be a Friday evening talk and Saturday morning conversation with celebrated author Anne Lamott.

The Hearth presents “The Kindness of Strangers.” Six local residents will share a true tale of transformation inspired by kindness. Tellers include Bill Rauch, Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble, and others. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. 7:00-9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, OR. $5 donation to benefit the Ashland Food Bank.

9:00-10:30am “Finding Our Way Amidst Racial Differences.” A community conversation on race in Southern Oregon facilitated by Adam Davis of Oregon Humanities and Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble from Southern Oregon University. Held at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon. FREE

11:00am-12:30pm “Finding Our Way Amidst the Unhoused.” A community conversation on homelessness, transiency, the housed and unhoused in Southern Oregon. Facilitated by Oregon Humanities. Held at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon. FREE

2:00-5:00pm. Various workshops around the city of Ashland on the practice of compassion. Locations and workshops TBA. FREE

7:30-9:00pm. “Rediscovering Mercy: An Evening with Anne Lamott.” Celebrated author Anne Lamott will give a talk based on her latest book Hallelujah Anyways followed by Q & A and book signing. Held at the SOU Music Recital Hall in Ashland. $25 general admission. $35 reserved seating. Tickets available at and Bloomsbury Books in Ashland beginning February 1.

9:00am-4:00pm. “Practicing Compassion: A Personal Retreat.” Led by Mark Yaconelli including a morning conversation with Anne Lamott on the inner work of compassion. $45. Held at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon. Tickets available through and at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland beginning February 1.

France-Calais-Migr_2709772aHearth founder Mark Yaconelli is seeking to raise $750 BY FRIDAY, MAY 13, in order to deliver food to refugees in Calais, France.

Mark is working in Wales teaching local towns to develop their own community storytelling projects. As part of the training he is leading a storytelling event entitled, “Stranger in a Strange Land.” This event will benefit and include stories told by Syrian refugees. To better understand the plight of refugees from war-torn countries Mark has procured a truck and in cooperation with Christian and Muslim groups, will deliver food to refugees from war-torn countries. His hope is to fill the truck with needed food items (canned fish, beans, tomatoes, etc.).

Please contribute using the donate button below. Donations are tax deductible. All those who donate will receive a written account of Mark’s experience.

Our 60 day fundraiser comes to an end in just sixty hours! We are only $640 short of our goal of $12,000. If you have not yet donated please click on our Indiegogo campaign here and make your pledge. There are still incredible perks (a night of stories, music, and homemade Italian food by Mark Yaconelli to name one). Let’s make that goal and get this new model of community-building launched.

letting go hearth story

The Hearth is not just a feel-good project, it is a real (practical) work of cultivating compassion, enlarging empathy, and inspiring generous acts of service within our community. Now researches are beginning to understand how stories deepen relationships and kindness within a community. Check out the new article by neuroscientist Paul Zak from Claremont Graudate School on How Stories Change the Brain, here.