Five Ways You Can Help Heal Our Politics

We as organizers of the New Story Festival are committed to the work of building a fairer world of connection, courage, creativity and the common good. Some of our team have been deeply involved in peace-building, reconciliation, and seeking common ground.

The New Story is taking place in the context of a divided society, with political polarization so obvious it has become a normal part of our everyday soundscape. But we don’t think that’s the end of the story - indeed, we wouldn’t be doing something called the New Story Festival if we believed that! There are at least five things the New Story will help us do that could reduce the divisions we currently face. Register for the festival and join us in the effort!

1: Listen to voices who hold the wisdom of indigenous traditions: from those who were here first.

We’re honored to welcome, among others, Native American activists and teachers Kaitlin Curtice and Vance Blackfox.

2: Seek common ground for the common good.

There will be opportunities throughout the festival to meet folk who see the world differently, listen to each other’s stories, and ask how we can help meet each other’s needs. One really cool example: InterFaith Youth Core is hosting two sessions on how we can relate with depth, insight, and respect across religious traditions.

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3: Build relationships - the "Three Doors” idea.

Many of us believe in the value of community - truly knowing each other, bearing each other’s burdens, sharing in each other’s joys. But many of us also live in places where we don’t know our actual neighbors. Some of us in the New Story community have set ourselves the goal of getting to know our neighbors three doors to the left, and three to the right of where we live. Just knocking a door, offering a cup of coffee, seeing where it leads. It’s not rocket science. But it might help save the world. (We’ll offer a version of the Three Doors commitment at the festival itself - you may arrive a stranger, but leave with new friends for life.)

4: Don’t assume you understand another person’s motivation until you have walked in their shoes.

This is such a familiar teaching that it’s easy to ignore - but there’s profound truth here: stepping back from making judgements about other people’s motivation is a vital part of conflict resolution and relationship building. We seek to model that kind of space at the festival - come help us!

5: And let’s not take ourselves too seriously :)

The Irish poet Paul Durcan wrote that what God made us to do is to “enjoy ourselves”. That’s a pretty radical idea when it’s so easy to see the suffering of the world, or the challenge to make a better one. But we will burn out quickly if we don’t learn how to play. So wherever you are today, join us at the New Story Festival, where we’ll seek to embody all four of the ideas above, and have fun while doing it!

Weekend passes are only $249, but we don’t want anyone to be turned away, so we offer Pay-From-the-Heart Pricing, starting at $99 based on your ability to pay. Children attend for free, Youth tickets are only $20, and Students of all ages can attend for only $70. Join us for an entire weekend of creativity, community, and the common good - speakers, musicians, workshops, dancing, connection, and action for a better world.

We want to highlight just a few of our exciting festival program sessions: including Practicing Hospitality: Lessons from The Migrant Caravan with Gavin Rogers, who, just a few months ago, joined the caravan on its challenging journey; Original Blessing with Danielle Shroyer, who will share a better story of human nature than the one many of us were raised with; and festival co-founder Gareth Higgins will share Lessons for the U.S. from the Peace Process in northern Ireland.

You can see the full festival schedule online.

It’s going to be an amazing weekend, and we can’t wait to see you there.