An interfaith seminary student recently reflected on a question she asks herself: How can I keep my heart soft and wide? Especially with those with whom I disagree or challenge me? Especially in light of a world rife with struggle?
This approach, this question feels so beautifully compassionate, non-violent, and loving. It feels brave to engage in reflectiveness, the self-reflexiveness of inquiring inside of yourself when confronted with pain or disagreement - instead of responding with an immediate reaction.
How appropriate and timely that the theme of this year's Festival of Faiths (which begins today!) is Sacred Hearts, Sacred Minds: Embodying Love.
To embody love - what an aspirational way of moving through the world! To keep the heart soft and wide, to live into what Bill Venley calls a "courageous love" — it is a prospect so mighty, so complete with unconditionality that it can bring up feelings of fear. And yet, can you imagine a community or a world in which we all placed our conscientious efforts into loving each other through the wiles of our hurt?
We are looking forward to the next three days at the Festival of Faiths meditating, absorbing, and imagining a more loving tomorrow. We hope you will consider joining us. And, at the very least, we hope the next time you're confronted with a challenge, you might just stop to ask yourself: How can I keep my heart soft and wide? How can I embody love in this moment?
Carol Quillen Appointed as President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
PBS NewsHour Features Teddy Abrams and the Inspiring Work of the Louisville Orchestra: The Louisville Orchestra and conductor Teddy Abrams have once again captured national interest, this time for their innovative music-as-public-service approach. PBS NewsHour reports on the extraordinary efforts undertaken by the orchestra and Abrams to fulfill a vision of bringing music to people in every corner of the state. While the orchestra’s traditional home is the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Louisville, Abrams understands the limitations of getting individuals of all ages, backgrounds, interests, and locations in the audience. To mitigate these challenges, he’s grown the mission of the Louisville Orchestra to include tours to the most rural areas across the state, playing in parks, community centers, and small town squares. Meanwhile, back in Louisville, programming has expanded to include Rap School and a young composer fellowship. For more on their innovative and inclusive initiatives, check out this fabulous news piece.
Downtown Louisville is now home to the Bark Park!
Located on an unused city lot near the corner of Fourth Street and Broadway, the TurfMutt Foundation sponsored the pocket pup park in an effort to offer the area a warm and colorful update. Complete with fresh sod, fencing, new benches, and a massive mural, the park will be open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. All dog breeds and sizes are welcome.
A new bipartisan initiative for gun control - which retains ownership - has reached Frankfort.
We invite you to learn more and to join us.
A COMMON GROUND STRATEGY
Whitney/Strong and Sandy Hook Promise are dedicated to finding common-ground solutions to gun violence. Together, they are balancing Kentuckians’ culture of firearm ownership with public safety and the urgent need to ensure the mental health and wellness of gun owners.
A CRUCIAL STEP FORWARD: LEGISLATIVE HEARING
After four years of tireless advocacy, the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee Meeting marks a significant milestone. It’s not just another meeting; it's a vital stepping stone towards the passage of essential legislation like CARR and The Safer Kentucky Act. Witnessing the journey from interim hearings to potential law, you're a part of a pivotal moment in shaping Kentucky's future.
OUR SOLUTION: CRISIS AVERSION AND RIGHTS RETENTION
Nearly 80% of individuals considering suicide give some sign of their intentions. Studies show perpetrators of mass violence experience three to five “mental health stressors” in the lead-up to their acts of violence. When the signs are visible, CARR is the tool.
FOR MORE ON CARR, THE SAFER KENTUCKY ACT, AND THE BIPARTISAN EFFORTS EFFORTS OF OUR LEGISLATIVE LEADERS, PLEASE VISIT THIS SITE.
Funds from the Environmental Protection Agency have been granted towards a new project to evaluate air quality in west Louisville. Last Friday, Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control announced $1 million is going into a three-year project to address the air pollution problems in west Louisville, specifically areas around Rubbertown.
A recent Louisville Metro Bulletin describes the university and city partnership and project process in greater detail: “The Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute at the University of Louisville will use the data collected through this study, other air monitoring projects, and their own wastewater sampling study to determine community health risks. Park DuValle Community Health Centers (PDCHC) will use the findings to train Community Health Workers and work with Envirome develop tools to support doctors in their treatment of residents with potential exposure. Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) will participate in community meetings, share their health equity data and expertise to further inform policy recommendations, and incorporate study findings into their health equity resources.”
The Holiday Jazz Party will feature songs by Tony Bennett played by the original Dick Sisto Seelbach Trio, the Tri-Tones, made up of Sisto, Tyrone Wheeler on bass, and Jason Tiemann on drums. The trio will be joined by jazz vocalist and longtime friend, Owsley Brown III, on a few select tin pan alley classic standards. In addition, the trio will feature many of the selections that were a mainstay at the Old Seelbach Jazz Bar. Songs of Love and Peace will prevail and make for warm a holiday party.
Introducing Project Gratitude
Baptist Health Foundation Greater Louisville launches initiative to better understand the role of gratitude in health and wellbeing.
In an effort “to create an environment of hope and healing throughout our entire community,” the Baptist Health Foundation Greater Louisville recently announced the launch of Project Gratitude. The initiative aims to “explore the significance of thankfulness in a person’s health journey from the perspective of patients, a patient’s family, care providers and their loved ones, community members and civic leaders.”
Baptist Health Foundation Greater Louisville notes it hopes “to incite a culture of gratitude” by encouraging our community to act upon gratitude - in turn creating new relationships and inspiring new ways of seeing the world around us.
And lastly... we're wishing a very Happy Birthday to King Charles III.
We are grateful for His Majesty's commitment to highlighting Louisville's ongoing work and dedication to Health and Harmony.
The portrait seen here is from a drawing by Louisville artist Russel Hulsey and includes a portion of the score that Teddy Abrams wrote for his visit to Louisville, KY in 2015.
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