The Weaving Influence team is excited to be a part of a unique new project by Carrie Newcomer and Parker Palmer. This spring, we had the opportunity to partner with them in developing a website that showcases their work and online community with The Growing Edge.

Carrie and Parker invite you to explore an ever-evolving time in the life of an adult, and join the conversation. Whatever your growing edge may be, you’re invited to join this online and in-person gathering of people who seek to grow toward the light, especially in times of darkness.

Carrie Newcomer & Parker Palmer

Carrie Newcomer is a Grammy-winning songwriter, recording artist, performer, educator, and activist. She has been described as a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe, and one who “asks all the right questions” by Rolling Stone. Carrie has 16 nationally released albums and two companion books of poetry & essays, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays and The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays & Lyrics. Newcomer’s first theatrical production, Betty’s Diner: The Musical, recently produced by Purdue University, is now available to interested theaters, universities, and spiritual communities. Her 2017 PBS special, “An Evening with Carrie Newcomer,” with commentary by Parker J. Palmer, is currently playing across the USA.

Newcomer was a cultural ambassador to India and has traveled to Kenya and the Middle East, performing in concert halls, hospitals, schools, and spiritual communities. She has lent her support to organizations focused on social justice, health and hunger services, progressive spirituality, and environmental preservation. She lives in the woods with her husband and two shaggy dogs.

Parker PalmerParker J. Palmer is a writer, teacher, and activist. Founder and Senior Partner Emeritus of the Center for Courage & Renewal, he has written ten books, including the bestselling Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, and Healing the Heart of Democracy. Palmer holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and thirteen honorary doctorates. In 1998, The Leadership Project, a national survey of ten thousand educators, named him as one of the thirty “most influential senior leaders” in higher education and one of the ten key “agenda-setters” of the past decade.

In 2005, Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer was published. In 2010, he received the William Rainey Harper Award, whose previous recipients included Margaret Mead, Elie Wiesel, and Paolo Freire. In 2017, the Shalem Institute in Washington, D.C., gave him its annual Contemplative Voices Award. Palmer lives with his wife in Madison, Wisconsin, the Berkeley of the Midwest. His most recent book is On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old.

The Growing Edge

 “All around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new leaves, fresh blossoms, green fruit.

Such is the growing edge!

This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and dreams whiten into ash. The birth of the child—life’s most dramatic answer to death—this is the growing edge incarnate.

Look well to the growing edge!”

— Howard Thurman (author, educator, and civil rights leader)

Growth and change is an ongoing pursuit, no matter what point we are at in our lives. It is only by standing still that we will fall behind, as the world grows and changes around us. There is a growing edge at many different points in our lives; maybe it is finding new meaning or purpose, new careers, or new ways to change the world. Each of us has our own path for growth, where the old falls away and the new blossoms. This is our growing edge!

Through online conversations, podcasts, and face-to-face retreats—supported by prose, poetry, and music—together we’ll explore where life is calling us next.

Explore the Website

  • Join the Conversation and become part of their online community. Readers are invited to reflect on questions and engage in an ongoing conversation.
  • The Growing Edge is more than an online community. They offer three Retreats each year to explore the deeper questions of our lives.
  • The Growing Edge podcasts are monthly conversations from Carrie and Parker around the lastest question of the month.
  • Find out the most information about Carrie and Parker on their news. They share Facebook feeds and their newest press and blog posts.
  • Carrie and Parker’s collaboration have produced two 90-minute song and spoken word events weaving together words and music to engage audiences to explore questions surrounding their growing edge.