Fall 2020 Online Program

2020 has turned out to be a year
of exceptional challenge both nationally and globally.

As we navigate the political currents leading up to our Presidential Election,
Word and Life invites you to a 10-week series that looks through a lens focused on
Healing The Heart of Democracy and recovering our respect for each other.

We’ll explore the research and wisdom in two best-selling source books
selected as the basis of our study and discourse this Fall.


We urge you to read and have the books in hand as our speakers unpack
concepts that are highly relevant to the future of our turbulent culture.

September 10th The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Rev. Dr. Tim Burnette, draws from the work of Jonathan Haidt and the new field of moral psychology that identifies the roots of human morality that have been laid down in our brains and are playing out today in our faith and our politics.

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.


Rev. Dr. Tim Burnette

PART 1: Introduction by Pat McClure and Presentation by Rev. Dr. Burnette

PART 2: Discussion


September 17th – Dealing With the Culture of Contempt: Loving Your Enemies
Rev. Bart Tarman and Dr. Thomas Jayawardene reflect on the unexpected solutions that a major economic analyst who is a practicing Catholic brings to our troubled times – the importance of respectful disagreement and the x-ray vision that sees behind contempt.

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.

DATE: SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 -- WEEK 2 -- Dealing With the Culture of Contempt: Loving Your Enemies

Rev. Bart Tarman and Dr. Thomas Jayawardene

Introduction, presentations and question and answer session

September 24th - Political Implications of The Sermon on the Mount: the neuroscience and practice of loving our enemies
Rev. Steve Jacobsen explores the science behind staying respectful and appreciative in the midst of disagreement and looks at some basic understanding and spiritual practice that changes our neural circuitry and produces authentic change in behavior.

If listening on a Mac, please use the SAFARI browser.


Rev. Steve Jacobsen

PART 1: Introduction by Pat McClure

PART 2: Presentation by Rev. Steve Jacobsen

PART 3: Discussion

Oct 1st - The Loom of Democracy: moving beyond trigger reactions to holding tensions in life-giving ways
Dr. Dave Richo introduces the main source book of the series, Healing The Heart of Democracy. Bringing his own work with the psychology of ‘triggering,’ Dr. Rich creates a powerful synthesis with Parker Palmer’s teachings – giving us living threads of practice to become the warp on which the loom of Democracy can weave a new pattern of social behavior. 

To learn more about the neuroscience of triggers and our defensive reactions Dr. Richo’s 4-part teaching series with Word and Life in the Spring of 2020 is available in the Archived Courses on our website: click here and listen.

October 8th - Healing the Heart of Democracy – in the U.S. Congress 
Congresswoman Lois Capps shares her experiences with Parker Palmer’s work and its transformative effects at both congressional and local levels

“The thing about democracy, beloved, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion” - Molly Ivins

October 15th - Engaging with the Heart of Democracy - part 1
When the “Other” is My Twin: Appreciation of the Value of Otherness
Georgia Noble and Nancy Edmundson from Palmer’s Center for Courage and Renewal will lead us for four weeks in learning and practicing new ways of thinking and responding: The Five Habits of the Heart

“Each human being, however small or weak, has something to bring to humanity. As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other’s stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart.” - Jean Vanier

October 22nd – Engaging with the Heart of Democracy – part 2
Embracing the Change: Faithfully Holding Tension in Life-giving ways

“The insight at the heart of nonviolence is that we live in a tragic gap - a gap between the way things are and the way we know they might be. It is a gap that never has been and never will be closed If we want to live nonviolent lives, we must learn to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility.” - Parker J. Palmer

October 29th - Engaging with the Heart of Democracy – part 3
Hope and Courage in the Face of Despair and Fear: A Sense of Personal Voice & Agency

“I shall take my voice wherever there are those who want to hear the melody of freedom or the words that might inspire hope and courage in the face of despair and fear. My weapons are peaceful, for it is only by peace that peace can be attained. The song of freedom must prevail.” - Paul Robeson

November 5 – Engaging with the Heart of Democracy – part 4
From Inner Liberation to Outer Transformation: A capacity to Create Community

“In...everyday venues, we settle into the fact that we are part of a large, diverse, and sometimes problematic but often fascinating motley crew. If we use our opportunities better citizens but help us feel more at home on the face of the earth.” - Parker J. Parker

November 12 – Now What???? Navigating the Post-Election World
Fr. Jim Clarke draws on a lifetime of wisdom dealing with the improbable and the possible as he offers a compass of stories and guidance to help us find a positive direction in the aftermath of the election.

Shortly after each session, audio
recordings will be available on
this page.

View Printable Version


The fee for the ZOOM ONLINE series is $67
(payable online or by check).

The reading is essential to the course and
books are available for purchase from Chaucers or Amazon.

We hope you’ll have them in hand and
ready to join us on Sept. 10th.
Please reserve your place today.
We will send you a ZOOM login link each week. 

Total amount for 10 sessions: $67.00

or send your check for $67
made out to Word and Life to
Joe Schneider
533 Tallant Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Thank you!
Read more about our Fall Program