On the edge of the Columbia Gorge forty-one strangers from fourteen states gathered to learn the skills and sensibilities of community-building. Together we sat in a large circle. Together we learned how to listen, how to speak, how to breathe, how to laugh, how to name difficult truths, how to engage conflict, how to share hurt, how to strengthen trust. We storied our lives from different angles. We focused our attention. We struggled to see ourselves and see others. We learned the source of our suffering is rooted in broken relationships and requires community in order to heal.

Community is a gift, a grace. You can’t force community, but you can learn the conditions that make community possible. In our week together we learned how to help people (in families, friendships, workplaces, public spaces) authentically connect in a way that brings healing.

I hope you will join us in this work of relational repair. Participate in our free story circle, attend a day-long workshop, or take the deep dive and sign up for our five-month online training in community storytelling.

I’m grateful for the miracle of community that took place on the Columbia Gorge and I am inspired by the many people, from such different walks of life, who feel called to do the hard work of loving.

– Mark Yaconelli