Spring Edition: The Notebook (Issue 27) 🍃

The week of May 15, 2023

Spring invites us to observe the obvious beauty in our periphery, ushering us towards noticing life in bloom. Sunlight, songbirds, the thrum of cicadas. Pollen, puddles, the full-bodied laughter of friendly picnics. Ladybugs, lush leaves, the lifecycle prosperously, lavishly on display. The month of May invites us to pay attention, to tune in, to take hope in renewal. 

Benedict of Nursia - the founder of Western monasticism -  advised his monks and nuns to “listen with the ear of their heart.” 

Spring prompts us with reminders of the many riches worth savoring in the everyday cadence of our existence. More so in this season than others, maybe it is easier to take notice of the small delights in life with so much bounty at-the-ready. Yet in this, we are offered so many opportunities to discover what offers us joy in the sticky mundane of everyday life. 

Learning to identify what brings us simple happiness requires conscious recognition and naming. It requires turning inward and observing what stirs the soul. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. 

In the recent Coronation of King Charles, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us that service is love in action.  Consider what this means if applied, first, inwardly… It feels counterintuitive, perhaps! But there is, of course, importance in knowing how to be in service to ourselves. Author Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook writes, “The sacred art of pilgrimage involves both an inward and outward journey."

Before writing off the discomfort of focusing inward, ask yourself: How might I use the flourishing largesse of this Kentucky Spring to align with contentment and fulfillment? How can I observe where my heart leads to unearth greater alignment?  And then, when you’re ready, consider again:
How does being in service to myself — by knowing deeply what moves me, by observing what brings me joy, by savoring the treasures which stir the heart — allow me to serve, with greater love, my own community? 

Louisville named a Top 5 U.S. Metropolitan Area
for Economic Development by Site Selection Magazine.
More exciting news for our city! Over 50 projects on-boarded by the Louisville Metro Government’s Department of Economic Development resulted in over 2 billion dollars in capital investment. This historic figure, paired with the region’s corresponding 3700 new jobs, has led to Louisville’s national recognition. More on this achievement here.
The Louisville Free Public Library and several supporting organizations are holding the Annual Ripple Effects photo contest for area K-12 students. Awards are considered for separate age groups including K-2, 3-5, middle school and high school. There are 4 cash awards per category!  The awards ceremony will be at the Kentucky State Fair -  all awardees also receive free tickets and parking.  Finally, there are three evening photography workshops for students held throughout the upcoming week. The photo contest website is up and running. Photos can be entered until August 5th.   

Dr. Ted Smith, Matthew Hamel, oSha Cowley-Shireman, Barbara Sexton Smith, Barbara Lynne Jamison, and Paula & Frank Harshaw at the naming announcement for the Kentucky Opera for Cultural Health. 

Kentucky Opera is proud to announce the naming of their headquarters: Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health 

The Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health exists as a place to laugh, play, sing, celebrate, learn, and grow – together. As Kentucky Opera expands its programming, the new headquarters will play a deliberate role in the revitalization of downtown Louisville.

We are thrilled to share the upcoming calendar of events which will take place both at the Brown Theatre and the new space located at 708 Magazine St. Shows include English versions of Pirates of Penzance, All is Calm, Hansel and Gretel, as well as a celebration for Juneteenth. 
City officials are calling on Kentuckians to give blood due to a critical shortage. Please consider scheduling your donation today.


  • Kentucky has some of the weakest gun laws and the 14th highest rate of gun-related deaths in the country, according to an Everytown for Gun Safety press release. (WHAS 11)
  • “Less than two weeks before Monday’s mass shooting at a bank in downtown Louisville, the state of Kentucky banned local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal firearm laws." (The New Republic): The bill makes Kentucky a so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary” and prohibits local, state, or campus authorities from enforcing federal bans or regulations related to firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories. It applies to any laws or regulations enacted since January 1, 2021.”
  • Let's make our cathedrals a center of cities' civic life — especially in the wake of gun violence (The National Catholic Reporter): In the wake of political structures failing to protect us from the institutional and everyday harms of gun violence, Michael Sean Winters calls for churches to help address the anxieties of American life. He notes that while universities have laboratories to explore the mysteries of science, perhaps churches can help communities consider the “bigger picture” of humankind – a laboratory of thought… and heart. 
  • Yes, police acted heroically in Louisville shooting, and yes LMPD has deep problems (The Courier Journal): Acknowledging the heroic efforts of our police department and naming its systemic challenges is not binary. There is space to explore and honor that both are true.  
  • Gun violence is the No. 1 killer of children; here are common-sense steps to address it (The Tennessean): Representatives at the intersection of three pillars of American life – faith, medicine and politics – offer four critical starting points for commonsense, bipartisan agreement to reduce gun violence. These reflections are calls-to-action which are important for Kentucky to consider given the possibility for  a similar bi-partisan, cross-institutional approach. 
Coal Barge on the Ohio River in Louisville, KY

The Ohio River is Getting Significant Attention

The latest report from American Rivers reveals that the Ohio River – which supplies drinking water to millions of people – is endangered. In fact, it is considered the 2nd most endangered river in the United States. The report cites industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution from the Ohio River’s watershed as critical issues, even despite marked improvements since the enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972.

In response, the 501c(3) non-profit Ohio River Way, issued a press release calling on elected officials to take immediate action. Asks include Congressional designation as a federally protected water system (e.g. the Great Lakes); increased funding to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission to ensure greater monitoring and technical capacity; and investment in recreation infrastructure along the waterfront, including boat ramps, hiking trails, bike lanes and parks. 

In more encouraging news, the Kentucky Waterways Alliance has a new leader in Michael Washburn. We'd like to acknowledge Ward Wilson's leadership at KWA and are excited for the organization's next chapter with Mr. Washburn at the helm. 

Finally, the aforementioned Ohio River Way non-profit is hiring its first full-time Director to ensure its vision of “an Ohio River valley with thriving communities that are supported in conserving and utilizing their natural beauty.” If you are interested in applying or know someone who might be, be sure to check out this link for more information.

From Louisville to Ukraine, Two Women and a Partnership of Help

Supplies Overseas International (SOS)  in Louisville collects, certifies and transports medical surplus of all kinds, from medicines and bandages to imaging equipment and even incubators. Hospitals across the United States collect and send their surplus to SOS International, where it is then certified for potency or functionality. Currently, Ukraine, Turkey and Syria, and Malawi are the greatest recipients of this aid. Across the globe, non-profit Magna coordinates the distribution of resources.

The two leaders of the organizations - incidentally sharing the same name - have forged a friendship spanning continents in their efforts to help those in great need. 

For more information on how to volunteer or donate with SOS, click through to the respective links.  


Gov. Beshear Announces $4.2 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds to Support Kentucky Farmers.

Announced in early March, 345 projects statewide will receive funding through the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission in a tobacco settlement intended to support local small-scale and corporate farms. The funds are intended to promote water quality protection and the prevention of soil erosion.
Inviting Your Feedback, Comments, and Ideas! 
Send us your thoughts and comments on the latest version of The Notebook by sharing your ideas in the Comment Box below each edition. Simply click through to the website, explore the latest content, and then share your feedback in the text box at the end of the webpage. We also welcome you to submit any ideas you may have for future editions of The Notebook.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Visit the Webpage of This Edition of The Notebook

Send us your feedback on this edition of The Notebook!

    Sign up for email updates to receive The Notebook outreach!