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.

THURSDAY, APRIL 26
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.

FRIDAY, APRIL 27
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 www.brownpapertickets.com and Bloomsbury Books in Ashland beginning February 1.

SATURDAY, APRIL 28
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 www.brownpapertickets.com and at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland beginning February 1.

The Hearth presents its annual holiday fundraiser with heartfelt stories by Hearth founder Mark Yaconelli. “True Tales of Wonder” will be an exploration of beauty, loss, and hope through story and song. Music by Wendi Stanek, Duane Whitcomb, and others. This is the only 2017 fundraiser for The Hearth which will help us continue producing a variety of community-building events. $10 suggested donation. Takes place Thursday, December 21 from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland.
PLUS, attend the fundraiser and get the first opportunity to buy tickets to The Hearth’s “Bridging the Divide Conference” featuring Anne Lamott. Held in Ashland April 26-28, 2018.

The Fall Hearth gathering is this Thursday, October 26th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland (1800 E. Main Street). Six local community members will share their own tale of bravery and help raise funds for The Teresa McCormick Center, a nonprofit committed to providing resources, education, and relationships to those in need in Southern Oregon.  Tellers include Phoenix Sigalove, Debra Zaslow, Selene Aitken, Wendy Werthhaiser, Tom Pike, and Jef Fretwell. Music by Carly Joss-Bradley, Jef Fretwell, Duane Whitcomb, and friends. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. $5 suggested donation.

2016-04-09-16-21-09It started with a series of messages from local community members asking The Hearth to hold a gathering to help people process their fears following the November 8th, presidential election. Mark Yaconelli posted an announcement inviting the community to gather for “Hopes, Fears, and Tears” a post-election conversation. People from across the political spectrum were encouraged to attend. Over 200 people showed up at First Presbyterian Church in Ashland. After a Leonard Cohen song by Gene Burnett, Mark invited people to get into groups of four. Participants were told the evening would be a time of listening, not political debate. Questions would be asked and each participant invited to respond with other group members simply listening (without interruption, or questions, or debate). When a person finished speaking, the other members of the group were asked to respond simply by saying, “Thank you,” then the next group member would share their experience.

There were four questions that people were asked to respond to: Read more

the-umpqua-story-logo-project-white-on-green

Two weeks after the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in which nine were killed and nine wounded, Mark Yaconelli was contacted by The Ford Family Foundation. “In the midst of the shock and pain of the October 1, 2015 tragedy, there was this generous, creative, compassionate response by local community members. The question was could The Hearth design a project that would collect and archive these stories so that the memory of this tragedy wasn’t only the violence and grief, but also the many acts of generosity and kindness that sought to bring healing.”

The Umpqua Story Project was formed with the purpose of providing compassionate settings where people across the Umpqua Valley could share their experiences of kindness in the wake of the tragedy. The project trained fifteen volunteers in compassionate listening, set up tables in coffee shops, libraries, schools and other public spaces across Douglas County and invited people to share their responses to the shooting at UCC. In addition to providing opportunities for the public to record their experiences, the project sent out staff members to record stories from individuals who had reacted to the tragedy with particular generosity and creativity. Read more