yaconell.tidings
December 17th from 7:30 to 9:00pm at Temple Emek Shalom

The Hearth founder Mark Yaconelli will share some of his favorite stories at this special holiday fundraiser. Accompanied by musicians Kim Starkey, Daniel Sperry, and Duane Whitcomb, the evening promises to be a mixture of true, heartwarming tales set to live music. If you want to laugh from the belly and cry from the heart then you won’t want to miss our special Hearth Holiday Gathering. Suggested donation is $10-$20 at the door. This is our yearly fundraiser for The Hearth so bring your friends and your checkbook.  Mulled wine, spiced cider, and homemade holiday treats will be available. Doors open at 7pm

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The Hearth is hosting a special storytelling event in support of The Ashland Climate Challenge. The theme is “Rising to the Challenge” and we have 6 storytellers from Ashland and across the west coast who will share true, inspiring stories of facing difficult challenges. This is co-sponsored by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and will be held at the Thomas Theatre on Saturday, November 14th from 7 to 9pm. Cost is $5 and funds will support renewable energy projects for the Ashland school district. The event will be hosted by Mark Yaconelli, tellers include Tonya Graham, Lesley Adams, Shaun Franks, Jacob Lebel, Scott Denning, and Leslie Becknell Marx. Music by Mysha Caruso. Only 275 seats, so show up early and bring your neighbors. This will be an important event for mobilizing to reduce and prepare for climate change.

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The Hearth will present “real stories by regular folks” on October 29th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland. The theme is “Down and Out” and proceeds from the event will benefit Uncle Food’s Diner–a weekly community meal for the homeless and economically disadvantaged. Tellers include Claudia Alick, Lucinda Weatherby, Kay Brooks, Leigh Madsen, Kelly Cruser, and Fred Grewe. Music by Mark Gostnell, Wendi Stanek, Duane Whitcomb and friends. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. $5 suggested donation.

crossing bordersThis may be our most important Hearth event yet. “Border Crossings” is the theme for our summer Hearth gathering. Six brave souls will tell personal stories of crossing racial, social, legal, and physical borders on Thursday, June 11th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland (1800 E. Main St.). Cost is $5 and proceeds collected at the door will benefit the Rogue Valley office of Oregon Action, a non-profit organization that works for health, racial, and economic equity here in Southern Oregon. Tellers include Alma Rosa Alvarez, Andrea Anderson, Ricardo Lujan, Jeff Golden, Marvin Ratner, and Julie Lockhart. Music by Wendi Stanek, Duane Whitcomb and friends including Abe Neimark and Talen Heater. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. Bike, walk, or carpool if you can, to reduce our carbon footprint and allow parking for those who need it.

This interview was conducted by John Pattison for The Ford Family Foundation:

yaconell.tidings

What does the popularity of storytelling programs like The Moth and The Hearth tell us about who we are and the time we’re living in?

We’re living in a time of loneliness. People feel alienated from one another. We have increased our connection to technology but in some ways those technologies have left us feeling more alone. As we get more high-tech, there comes a desire for more “high-touch.”

But it’s rare for us to share physical space anymore. We’re seeing a decline in some of the traditional institutions that used to help build intergenerational relationships—Elks Club and Lions Club, for example, as well as mainstream churches. So there is an increased longing to be connected to other people, because we are social creatures.

We want to be connected, and stories do that. Stories make us more human. They bring us to our senses in a way that other ways of connecting don’t always do. Stories are like a little transportation system. Neuroscientists are discovering that the way your brain processes a story you are telling, stimulates the same part of my brain as I listen to it. When you tell me something scary, my adrenaline goes up. I feel it. In some ways, I can join you in your experience.

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