Seeking the courage to live an undivided life in divided times 14-16 November 2019 Emseni Christian Centre in Benoni, Johannesburg
Information form

14-16 November 2019 

A retreat for individuals from service professions such as education, health care, business, public service, nonprofit and religious life—to develop practices that support both personal integrity and the common good in our lives and in our work.


Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer.


Those of us who choose to work in service industries, whether as: teachers; pastors; doctors; nurses; environmentalists; activists; non-profit managers; or other public leadership – often find ourselves wrestling with the difficulties and complexities of a broken and divided world. We also often feel the challenge of sustaining ourselvesand our commitment to our workamongst thisbrokenness.We long for the courage to “show up in the world” as our true selves.


Yet, at the same time,


“Afraid that our inner light will be extinguished or our inner darkness exposed, we hide our true identities from each other. In the process, we become separated from our own souls. We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the “integrity that comes from being what we are.”   

– Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness


If you are seeking a type of “wholeness” that understands that it does not equal perfection, and that embracing brokenness is an integral part of life, this retreat might be of interest to you. It is an invitation tore-connect with who you are and what you do – and to rejoin soul and role.


You are invited to rediscover your deepest purpose and values, as well as explore the tensions that often exist betweenwhat we most wish to be true and the realities of leading, healing, advocating, and teaching within a deeply broken world.Join us as we collectively seek the courage to live undivided in highly divided times.


“When we create a space where the soul feels safe, it will help us to deal with our most divisive issues”


“When we catch sight of the soul, we can become healers in a wounded world – in the family, in the neighbourhood, in the workplace, and in political life.”


—Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness


WHO is it for?

  • People with a deep desire to live a life of integrity and reconciliation in the complex South African context – to stand in the tragic gap between what is possible and what is not yet realised.
  • People who are drawn to the work of Parker Palmer and/or the Centre of Courage and Renewal
  • People who would be interested to explore collaboration, networking and integrating this work in the South African context
  • People who have the desire to cultivate a sustained inner life of hope



WHAT to expect?


  • A time of reflection and community
  • A first hand experience of some of the concepts and methods described by Parker Palmer in his book Hidden Wholeness.
  • A rich sharing of the wisdom of the work by the co-founders of the Centre of Courage and Renewal, Marcy and Rick Jackson
  • Possible Skype conversation with Parker Palmer
  • Skilled facilitators help create a safe, quiet, and disciplined space—a Circle of Trust—in which the noise within us and around us can subside, where introspection becomes possible. In large group, small group, and solitary settings, you will explore the intersection of your personal and professional lives, making use of stories from your own journeys, and insights from poets, storytellers, and various wisdom traditions.



  1. Discern if you would be interested in this retreat
  2. Apply for Selection by completing the FORM and emailing it to 
  3. Selections completed by 7 September
  4. Pay deposit
  5. Read the book Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer
  6. Retreat

There are several resources available on the Centre of Courage and Renewal’s website ( to ensure that you have a good sense if you are drawn to this particular work.  

We would like to request that you in particular familiarise yourself with the following: 

  1. On Youtube:Parker J. Palmer – What is a Divided Life? ( 
  1. From Centre of Courage+Renewal website: Standing in the tragic gap (where Rick interviews Parker)   
  1. The following article: Leading from within 

  1. We are going to request reading the following book by Parker Palmer before the retreat starts: A Hidden Wholeness

Spaces are limited to 25 participants due to the nature of the retreat and the uniqueness of this opportunity.  We would like to have a wide representation of people present, people who are keenly interested in the work of Parker Palmer, and will therefore consider the applications accordingly, with care. 

To register, please complete the attached form and send it to 

Registration deadline is 31 August 2019

You will be notified in the first week of September if your registration has been successful 


The retreat will be held from 14-16 November 2019 at Emseni Christian Centre in Benoni, Johannesburg.   Starting Thursday afternoon after lunch until Saturday late afternoon.

Emseni,Plot 61 B

Road No. 5 (Off Great North Road)

Brentwood Park, Benoni, 1505 


Shared accommodation                                            R2000

Single accommodation                                               R2500 

Costs include meals, accommodation, and the full Retreat Program from Thursday dinner through Saturday lunch. 

Participants will be housed primarily in double occupancy rooms, but a limited amount of single rooms are available 

After selection, a R1000 deposit before the end of September will be required to secure your place 

**If partial financial assistance is needed, please indicate this on your registration form, we would like to make this opportunity possible for those deeply interested. 

For further information or questions contact:

Adri-Marie van Heerden