• Carolyn Arends "Spiritual Formation from the Inside Out" | Episode Transcript

    Karen Pascal: Hello, I’m Karen Pascal. I’m the executive director of the Henri Nouwen Society. Welcome to a new episode of Henri Nouwen, Now and Then. Our goal at the society is to extend the rich spiritual legacy of Henri Nouwen to audiences around the world. We invite you to share these podcasts with your friends and family. 

    This week, singer-songwriter, author, and gifted teacher, Carolyn Arends is my guest. Carolyn has released 14 albums and is the author of three critically acclaimed books. Fifteen of Carolyn’s songs have become Top-10 radio singles on the Canadian pop and U.S. Christian charts. Arends has earned two Dove awards, three Juno nominations, and was recognized as the West Coast Music Awards Songwriter of the Year. In addition to her busy touring schedule, Carolyn has been a regular columnist for Christianity Today, Faith Today, and CT Women. She’s served as an adjunct professor at a number of universities. 

    Currently, Carolyn is the Director of Education for Renovaré, a far-reaching organization that encourages and nurtures spiritual renewal. Renovaré is releasing an online course called From the Inside Out, and Carolyn’s going to be the primary teacher. It’s addressing central questions of faith that you may be asking, like: What is spiritual formation? What’s my picture of God? What’s my picture of myself? What’s my picture of the gospel? How do people change, and, how do I follow Jesus in the time and place that I’m living in? 

    Carolyn, welcome to Henri Nouwen, Now and Then. 

    Carolyn Arends: Oh, Karen, it’s so good to be back with you. What a pleasure. 

    Karen Pascal: Lovely to have you. I’m really curious, Carolyn: Why are these questions so important to you? 

    Carolyn Arends: Oh, what a good question about the questions, right off the hop. You know, for several years now, I’ve had the opportunity of overseeing something called the Renovaré Institute, which is this two-year program that people go through. Most of it is online, but there are these four week-long residencies within the program, and the people that are drawn to this program are sort of lifelong followers of Jesus. A lot of them are biblical professors or clergy or whatever, and these are the questions that we work with in this program. And they seem so basic. 

    We start with: What is my picture of God? Now, you would think someone who’s a lifelong theologian or clergy person, or just a really mature Christian, that this would be the most basic question that there could possibly be. And yet, as soon as we start working on it – not what is my professed picture of God, but what’s under the hood? What’s my default picture of God? Who do I, how do I relate to God in times of stress or turmoil? –  that question is the meatiest question you could possibly begin with. 

    And so, we have just learned over time that these really fundamental questions – especially, what is my picture of God? What is my picture of myself? What is my understanding of the gospel? What do I think Jesus actually came to teach and to do and to change? – they’re just questions you can live into for a lifetime. So, we thought it would be fun to try to do this, as jargon-free as possible, course grappling with these questions in a more introductory way for people who might find them as interesting as we do.

    Karen Pascal: It is so interesting, these very basic questions and how we wrestle with them, and yet we don’t think we do. Look, I’m going to go back to the very first question, you know, what’s my picture of God? Why does that make any difference? I mean, really. And what’s my picture of myself? Why do those two things make some sort of an impact on my spiritual journey?

    Carolyn Arends: They’re really everything that… there’s a quote from William Temple, where he says something to the effect of, “If our picture of God is off, then the more religious we become, the worse we get.” If we don’t have a picture of God that is sufficiently beautiful and good and true, if we don’t understand that God is love all the way down, then the more we try to be devout or follow him, or be someone who loves and follows God, actually the worse it will get. So, it’s absolutely critical. And then very close to that is the way we understand ourselves. Do we understand ourselves as. . .? 

    This is where it’s such a privilege to talk to someone who is carrying on Henri Nouwen’s legacy, because this was so much of what he taught me and other people. If we don’t understand that we are God’s beloved, right out of the chute, before we’ve earned anything, done anything good, done anything bad, that we are God’s beloved and there’s nothing that we can do to change that, then we can never live into our belovedness. And these two things are so related. Do we truly believe that God is love all the way down? That love is not just something God does, love is who God is, and there’s nothing we can do to change that about him, nor can we change his affection for us. And all the great task of our life, of becoming whole and holy, flows out of our belovedness, rather than towards trying to earn our belovedness. 

    So, I don’t know how clear I’m being, but these two things, understanding how good and unchangeably loving God is, and then understanding how much he loves us and accepts us as his little image-bearers, they’re just the starting field for anything good in our lives. They’re just the starting line. 

    Karen Pascal: I love that expression, image-bearers. We need to see everybody as a God-image-bearer, right?

    Carolyn Arends: Yes. This is the thing: For years at Renovaré, I worked with a fellow named Chris Hall. He has just retired, but still teaches at the institute, and he has this habit of calling, he just never uses the term “person” or “people” or “human” or “guy” or “girl.” He just says, “Oh, look at that little image-bearer.” He just calls all people, all the time, “image-bearers.” 

    And I always sort of laugh that, you know? If you’re in traffic and someone cuts you off, if you make sure that whatever you’re going to say about that person includes the phrase “image-bearer,” it kind of changes what you’re going to say and how you’re going to feel. And same thing when you get up in the morning and you look in the mirror: If the first thing you see is God’s precious image-bearer, which we see in the opening chapters of scripture, that God makes this incredible universe out of his abundant creativity, but the culminating creation is the human being, who bears his image – utterly precious from the get-go. That’s you, that’s me, that’s every human we encounter. And when we start to see the world that way, it just really changes the game.

    Karen Pascal: It’s interesting, because you hit upon our core purpose as an organization, the Henri Nouwen Society, is really to share Henri Nouwen’s spiritual vision so that people can be transformed by experiencing themselves as God’s beloved. I mean, that’s just the core of what we want to do for every friendship, for every relationship we have, and that was what I think was Henri’s breakthrough to all of us, his gift to us, because he had to resolve that in his own heart, all his sense of brokenness, and then to find that.

    I’m curious how Henri Nouwen’s been an influence to you. I saw him sprinkled through the book I was reading. Tell me a little bit.

    Carolyn Arends: Well, I know we talked about this the last time that we talked – how important Henri has been to me personally, and then also to my work at Renovaré, and for sure The Life of the Beloved, and some of the things he’s done in The Return of the Prodigal Son and In the Name of Jesus. This invitation to see God as this father that you can’t un-father, you know, this father that, the minute you do a tiny turning towards him, is running towards you. That, and then to understand – I think it’s in The Life of the Beloved, he says, first we have to understand that we are the beloved, and then we have to live into it. We have to become the beloved. I don’t know if there’s a voice that has helped us more, really, with those two fundamental questions – what is my picture of God, what is my picture of myself – than Henri, certainly in modern times. 

    So, yeah, I’ve been reading Henri for years, comforted and counseled by Henri for years, and he’s kind of a secret weapon of healing in the Renovaré institute, and in so many of the things that we do. And I think we talked about last time we did The Life of the Beloved in the Renovaré Book Club, and that was just incredibly helpful for people. We use In the Name of Jesus in the Renovaré Institute, to help people think about this invitation to move from a false self into a true identity as the beloved. And yeah, Henri, even the daily meditations you send out of the society are a constant source of nourishment for me, so I’m really grateful for him and for how you’re continuing on his legacy.

    Karen Pascal: Oh, thank you. I’m so glad to know you’re reading them. You know, it’s funny, because they’re free, I wish people would just read them and pass them on to others, because I do think they’re good food for the soul, good food for the spirit. 

    I’m curious, because I first knew you as a singer-songwriter, and then all of a sudden, your name shows up with Renovaré. I think we need to know a little bit about what is Renovaré and how did that come about? And I really discovered, as I had the privilege of listening to this series: You are a fabulous teacher. You really are good at that. So, I quite cherish that whole experience. 

    But take me back. How did you connect with Renovaré and what are you doing there now?

    Carolyn Arends: Ah, these are all great questions. So, Renovaré is a spiritual formation organization or an organization that – I’m laughing even as I say that. We have a new president these days, a fellow named Ted Harro. He’s excellent. He’s a recent graduate of the Renovaré Institute. So, he was my student and now he’s my boss and he’s wonderful, and he’s always pushing against any kind of jargon language. He always wants us to talk the way people talk in coffee shops. And so, he would say, “Don’t call us a ‘spiritual formation organization.’ Call us something else.” So, we’re an organization that – we’re still working on how to put that in more concrete language – but an organization with a vision very, actually, very similar to the Henri Nouwen Society, in that we believe transformation happens when people understand that they are the beloved of God, and when they begin to understand how good and beautiful and wonderful God is, then they can open themselves up to how God wants to heal them, and make them holy, and unbend them, and lead them into flourishing for themselves and their families and their friends and their communities and the world. 

    So, we just like to do whatever we can to come alongside people, help them take baby steps in that process. Renovaré was founded by Richard Foster, who wrote Celebration of Discipline. So, he’s always had this vision for how classic spiritual disciplines are these tried-and-true ways of opening ourselves up to how God wants to work inside of us, draw us into deeper friendship with him. 

    And so, we do a bunch of different things, and they’re all quite fun. We do podcasts and webinars and things like that. I get to oversee the Renovaré Institute. We have the book club. We’re trying online courses to see if they help folks. My colleague, Nathan Foster, is working on an initiative called Fellowship of the Burning Heart, which is these little communities of trust and listening that are really quite beautiful. So, love Renovaré. So that’s, I think, the answer to one (a) of your questions, what is Renovaré? 

    One (b) of your question, I think, was how did a singer-songwriter end up working with Renovaré? And that’s a great question. Very early in my music career, really just in my life, I discovered some of the resources of Renovaré. They were really making a difference for me. I have memories of being on tour, opening for a bigger artist, being in the belly of an arena and using Renovaré’s Devotional Classics resource with my band as our devotional out on the road as a 20-something-year-old. Which is actually where I first encountered Henri, too, an excerpt from Henri. So, the work has been really important to me for years without me even really understanding that Renovaré was an actual organization. I just had these books and resources that had Renovaré on the spine, that meant a lot to me.

    Over the years, I’ve always been sort of a storyteller in concert. I know not too long ago you had Steve Bell on, and I love the way Steve is in concert. And sometimes people will say that Steve and I are kind of similar in that it’s as much about the stories between the songs as the songs. And so, I always did a fair amount of yacking and talking and telling stories in my concerts. And gradually, more and more people started asking me to do more and more of the speaking side of that equation.

    So, I started getting booked to do more and more retreat facilitation and speaking at different events, and things like that. And eventually, I was doing so much of this speaking, I thought, “Man, I need better soil to grow these talks in.” So, I went back to school. I went to Regent College out in Vancouver and got a master’s in theology, and thought that that would just kind of further nurture the teaching side of what I do. And shortly after I graduated from Regent, I saw on a Regent Facebook page, this posting that said, Renovaré is looking for a director of education. And I can’t remember if we talked about this the last time I was on the podcast, but when I saw that posting, I felt like somebody hit a tuning fork and put it against my chest.

    And I just started to kind of buzz, just resonate. And I remember – I’m talking to you, Karen, right now from my office – and I remember I got up from my office and I walked out into the family room where my husband Mark was, and I said, “Mark, I think I know what I’m supposed to do when I grow up.” And he said, “Oh, that’s interesting. I thought you were plenty busy.” And I said, “No, I think I’m supposed to apply for this job.”

    And so, I did. I reached out to Renovaré and they had said the person who did this job could do it anywhere in the U.S., but I was in Canada. So, I sent them an email and pled my case and they said, “Well, we want to be open to who the Spirit might have for us, so go ahead and apply.”

    And eventually, they heard the tuning fork as well. And that was seven years ago. So, for seven years I’ve had the privilege of this work with Renovaré, which . . . you know, it’s amazing how often when I talk to people who are getting to be our ages, when you look back on your life, it is amazing how God doesn’t waste anything. He kind of uses all the different, all your little side alleys and your main roads, the things you’ve been passionate about, the things that have happened to you, the ways you’ve been wounded, all of it, God will use if you’ll let him. So, in this job, I look back, and I do use music in this job. I use teaching, I use writing, I use a passion I have for higher ed, and this deep heart-longing to know how it is that we live into our belovedness. All of that gets used in this job. And it’s a riot. I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

    Karen Pascal: This is a very simple question, but is Renovaré an actual place? Is it like a college that you go to, or is it completely online now? I’m curious. Give me an un understanding of that.

    Carolyn Arends: So, our staff is virtual. So, I’m in Vancouver, our president is in Chicago. The rest of our staff is scattered, around the U.S., and so we don’t actually anymore have a physical place. How we do the institute is we start a new cohort every year, and each new cohort is attached to a new city, which means we’re going to do the four week-long residencies that we do for that cohort in a particular city. And it doesn’t mean that everyone who attends is from that city. In fact, people come from all over the world, but we move it around to try to make it more accessible. So, for example, the cohort that will start in the fall of 2023, we’re going to hold all the residencies for that cohort in Omaha. So, every time it’s a new city. So, we move around. And we are starting to plan for a national gathering that will happen not just for the institute, but for anyone who’s a friend of Renovaré or interested in what we’re doing. That will happen in Colorado Springs, which is kind of a home base for Renovaré, because Richard Foster still lives in that area, as does Nathan Foster. But really, we’re all over the place. 

    Karen Pascal: You know, it’s funny, because probably that would’ve sounded really weird to us three years ago, but now with the pandemic, we’re so used to interacting with people all over the world and realizing we can have access. It doesn’t have to be in the same place. We can bring ourselves into the same room, and is kind of wonderful to see that happening. At the same time, it’s really great to be together. Let’s face it, a real hug is a real hug.

    Carolyn Arends: Absolutely. You know, that’s one of the things I’d be interested to know how it is for the society. That’s one of the things we’re discerning. Like, we still really believe in getting people in the same room, and we never want to give that up. In fact, during COVID, a lot of people said, “Why don’t you just take the Renovaré Institute completely online?” And we said, “No, we’re going to pause it until we can have these week-long residencies together, because we just believe that there’s nothing like being in the same room together.”

    At the same time, we started, during COVID, webinars as something to do while everybody was housebound. And we’ve had people all over the world, really, say, “Please don’t stop the webinars, because I’m in Singapore,” or, “I’m disabled in a way that I’m never going to be able to attend some of these in-person things.”

    So, it’s a both/and, isn’t it? When we can be together, we want to, but I sort of think about some of us, depending on if we’re involved in different church traditions. During COVID, they taught us how to have a spiritual communion, which is how to take communion when you can’t have the physical elements. And so, I’m so grateful that we can have a spiritual communion, but I’m also really grateful for bread and wine, when it’s available. And so, learning how to make both a part of how we move in the world and how we offer people, we’re still working on getting the balance of that right. But we’re glad to have both options now, for sure.

    Karen Pascal: Yeah, I would agree. I would say our world changed, but in some ways so much for the better. Our community is right around the world, and I know for that reason, I think we share the same community. I think the people that are enjoying what you’re doing are people that are enjoying Henri Nouwen. And so, my joy is to introduce them to you today, with the hope that, number one, they will want to sign up and take this course. And we’re even going to offer, online, some links, so that they’ll be able to sample it and get a feeling for what it’s about. And then if they want to do it, they can do it. That’s pretty exciting. 

    I also loved your book; and it was interesting: I loved it so much that as soon as I was finished, I went and ordered two more copies. They’re going out as gifts, because I just thought it was terrific. But I want to read a quote from it here: “My story is about what happens when a girl raised in fundamentalism slowly realizes that she has the spiritual temperament of a Christian mystic.” That’s a great line. I felt that as I followed the book, that you have a story to tell that’s quite interesting. Take me through that. What does it mean to become a Christian mystic when you have that kind of background?

    Carolyn Arends: Well, I would say I’m still becoming, on that front, but yeah, that book. So, you’re referring to the book Wrestling with Angels, which actually was written many, many years ago. And it’s amazing how it sort of keeps finding folks whose journey has some resonance with my journey. But that book is a story about, I grew up thinking that faith was about having everything buttoned down. You know? Just understanding everything, having mastery, being able to kind of summarize what you believe and why, and maybe four or five easy steps that all start with the same letter. That was how I was raised. 

    And I had an experience, which I write about in the book, in my mid-twenties, where all of a sudden, I had a summer where I could no longer perceive the presence of God. And I had had the great gift of a God-awareness from a very young age, so much so that, until that experience, I couldn’t understand how anyone could be alive in this world of wonders and not just at least have a sense of transcendence – at least have a sense that there’s something bigger than ourselves. Something . . . it seemed obvious to me that there was something bigger to ourselves and that it was personal and creative and loving – until this particular summer. And then I had no equipment or frameworks or paradigms or any way to process what was happening. And so, I had this feeling, I think I say in this book, this feeling of being betrayed and being a traitor. How could I have had the experiences I’ve had of God and then suddenly not be able to perceive him?

    So, that summer I was maybe about, I don’t know, 24 or 25, and it started this long process of growing into a faith that is about what has been revealed. I truly believe that the eternal God has been revealed to us in the person of Jesus, and so that so many questions we have about who God is (Is he good? Can he be trusted all the way down?) are answered in the person of Jesus. 

    And yet, there is equally a mystery. This God, of course, is beyond us, otherwise he’d just be a really great human. And so, my lifelong journey, it’s the journey I’m still on, is into a faith that not only survives, but thrives in the midst of unanswered questions. The mysteries that just lead us deeper and deeper into the wonder and beauty of who God is

    That particular summer – you know, because you’ve read it – the way that particular summer came to some sort of resolution was that whole summer happened on a trip to Nashville. My husband, Mark and I were staying in Nashville while my music career was getting going. And I kind of had this summer of quiet desperation, where on the surface everything was going great: My career was taking off; we were young; we were having fun; we were with our friends. But underneath, there was this quiet desperation of suddenly not being able to perceive God, suddenly having all my frameworks plunged into mystery. 

    And on the way home, we just hit these canyons in Utah at sunset. It’s as simple as that. We hit these canyons in Utah at sunset. We had driven through them on our way to Nashville, but it had been night, and we hadn’t even really been aware of them, other than a windy road. But we hit these canyons at sunset on the way home and we’re suddenly almost, I don’t even know what words to use, like almost accosted with beauty. It was like unbearable, glorious beauty. And I just felt like I heard the Lord say to me something like what he said to Job, which is like, “Look, kiddo, when you get to where you can explain how even this thing in your immediate vicinity came to be, then maybe someday we can get into the mysteries of how my world works and the problem of good and evil, and transcendence and immanence, and all the things you’re grappling with. You’re my little image-bearer and you’re a little thimble that can hold a thimble’s-worth of the vast ocean of my goodness and my love. And so, this is going to be a long journey into the mystery together.”

    And so certainly, my questions were not all resolved and answered, but it was a little turning in my life, to loving a God that is both closer than we can imagine, and also more mysterious than we can possibly comprehend. And I’ve been learning in my Renovaré years that there’s an understanding, especially in the early church, that our eternity with God will be an eternal traveling deeper and deeper into the wonder and mystery and beauty of who God is. I never used to think of it that way. I used to think once we get to the other side and we’re face-to-face with God, then all our questions will be answered. But I’ve been learning that the way that early church saw this is that we will always be finite little creatures, traveling deeper into the infinite wonder of God’s beauty and goodness.

    And so – I’ve already mentioned Chris Hall once – Chris Hall sometimes imagines that God will show us something magnificent about who he is and his creativity and wonder and the love that gets passed between the Father and Son and Spirit. And we’ll go, “Oh, oh, oh! This is better than anything I ever hoped. I’m going to need some time to process this.”

    And God will say, “Okay, take 10,000 years or so, and then I’ll show you something else.” And there will just be this eternal journey. It will never get boring. It will never stagnate, will never get to the depths of God’s wonder and beauty. And so, Angels, the book that you read, is about my earlier years of beginning to turn and open up to that mystery, instead of running screaming from it, afraid for my life. That’s what that book is about.

    Karen Pascal: I loved the book and in it, I think the very story you’ve told confirms the freedom to actually doubt is not the enemy of God. It actually might be the thing that brings you farther into faith, if you could trust it.

    Carolyn Arends: Yeah. I think that’s my thesis. And it’s ended up being a huge kind of area that I love to teach and explore with people. I think that doubt is kind of a neutral thing. It’s kind of what bubbles up in the space of a couple of gaps. One gap is between what we were expecting out of life and what we’re actually experiencing. And the other gap is between what our little, three pounds of gray matter or what our brain is capable of understanding, and then everything there is to be understood. There’s a gap in those two areas, between what we expected and what we’re experiencing, and between everything there is to be understood and what we’re capable of understanding. And the unease and cognitive dissonance that bubbles up in those two gaps, I think is what we typically call doubt.

    That’s a neutral thing. In fact, that’s even a full-of-redemptive-and-adventurous-promise thing. It’s what we do with that doubt that determines whether it’s something that burns our faith down or refines it. And so, a lot of my journey has been, when I start to feel that dissonance, instead of running away, either trying to make God smaller or me bigger, or just switching into autopilot and refusing to engage the questions, instead to go, “Ooh, okay, what’s the invitation here? How are you wanting to expand and grow my relationship with you, God? What do you think I’m ready for? What are you ready to stretch in me or invite me deeper into?” 

    That makes all the difference, you know? So, yeah. I’m with you. I think it was Frederick Buechner who said, “Doubt is the ants in the pants of faith. It keeps it alive and moving.”

    Karen Pascal: I like that a lot. It’s interesting, as I journey along with you, by the way, in this whole process, and I think about it. I love this quote that I found in your book. I know I’m taking you back to something you wrote long ago, but my sense is that there’s a consistency in you, Carolyn. I’m not afraid to take you back, because I have a feeling precept upon precept is growing in you. Anyway, it says: “The more I get to know God, the more he scares me. It becomes increasingly evident that he’s more awesome, more wonderful, more terrifying than I can think or imagine. He’s infinitely beyond me. The more I understand, the more I see how much there is that I don’t understand. God is mystery.”

    I’m quite sure that in this course that you’re going to give – because I’ve had a chance to sample it, guys, and I have to tell you, it’s really good – I am convinced that it’s going to give a very big, very delicious, very abundant God to anyone who takes this course. And it’s going to. . . I mean, I must honestly admit when I first heard the term, and this is several years ago, “spiritual formation,” I was clueless. I didn’t know what that meant. I had absolutely no clue. But I think you want to take us on a journey where we, in a sense, ask the right questions. And I truly believe you have to ask the right questions to get to the right answers. And it’s so with God. He gives us maybe different questions than we’re asking, better questions than we’re asking. Questions that give God room to be God. 

    I’m very excited that this is something that we can offer to others. When I first contacted you, before we started 2023, I was saying it’d be great to hear what your New Year’s resolutions were. Well, that was kind of a silly place to begin, but we began to think that this course has something to offer to people. It has something to give them. It has something to take them to a to a new place in their walk with God. And I am delighted that we can do that. I often do podcasts with people because I want [listeners] to read somebody’s book. I want them to taste and see that the Lord is good. And I think they will, if they sign up to do this course. So, I promise everybody who’s listening, when you want to figure out how do I get to this, we’ll give you links in our show notes and you’ll be able to do it. And we will be delighted to say it’s got our seal of approval. We’re really excited about it, and I know you will enjoy Carolyn as a teacher. You’ve just had a little taste today of what she thinks and who she is.

    Carolyn Arends: Oh, thank you, Karen. I really think that . . . It’s funny when you said you heard the term spiritual formation and I was telling you I really want to get the series that’s been done. So, I know some other writers have come alongside and gathered up some of Henri’s writing, and there is one book that’s all about things he said about spiritual formation. But knowing we were going to talk today, I was talking to a couple of my colleagues about Henri and spiritual formation. And my friend and colleague, Grace, said, “Isn’t this spiritual formation?” And she sent me this quote from The Life of the Beloved. And it’s where Henri says, “If it is true that we not only are the beloved, but also have to become the beloved, if it is true that we are not only children of God, but also have to become children of God, if it is true that we are not only brothers and sisters, but also have to become brothers and sisters – if all that is true, how, then, can we get a grip on this process of becoming? If the spiritual life is not simply a way of being, but also a way of becoming, what, then, is the nature of this becoming?”

    I think that’s the spiritual formation question. What, then, is the nature of this becoming? If there’s this invitation to recognize that we are the beloved, and then live into our belovedness in a way that allows us to flourish and love other people well and act for good in the world, but also be at home in ourselves, that process of becoming is spiritual formation. And that’s what this course tries to tackle, in hopefully as jargon-free a way as possible. And we do it feeling like we have Henri’s arm around us, because he was one of the great guides in how do we say “yes” to this process of becoming.

    Karen Pascal: That’s lovely. Thank you so much for being with us today. You are just a delight to talk with, and I think of you as a full cup of good things, but also a really deep one. You’ve got a lot there to share. I also really want to encourage people. I’m so thankful you joined us today, and I’m going to encourage them also to go to your website, because you have just so many rich gifts. Music is obviously one of the center points within you. I’m discovering there’s many, but honestly, they’ll love your albums. So, thank you.

    Carolyn Arends: Thank you, Karen. It’s a joy as always.

    Karen Pascal: Carolyn is offering us the very things that can help us grow in our faith. You’ll find links in the show notes for this podcast to this course Renovaré is offering. It’s called, From the Inside Out: Discovering a Deeper and More Transformative Life with God. In preparation for our podcast today, I watched all six episodes and I can tell you, you will not be disappointed. 

    I hope you come away from this interview with Carolyn Arends as inspired and moved as I was. To really know this very talented artist and experience the fullness of the gift of her creativity, we’ll post links in our notes to Carolyn Arends’ website. 

    I hope you’ve already signed up to receive our free daily meditations. They’re written by Henri Nouwen. If not, you could do that on our website @HenriNouwen.org. Remember, they’re free, and they are a wonderful way to stay informed about the various things we have to offer to those who enjoy the writings and the teachings of Henri Nouwen. 

    We would also be so grateful if you’d consider donating to the Henri Nouwen Society. Your resources help us share the daily meditations and these podcasts right around the world. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please take time to give us a review or a thumbs-up, or pass this on to your friends and family. 

    Thanks for listening. Until next time.

Praise from our podcast listeners

"Karen Pascal does a wonderful job interviewing. There is so much to ponder after each episode."
Sandra, USA
"It's a great podcast - that truly pierces your heart!"
Jude, UK
"A wonderful podcast that does a deep dive into Nouwen's teachings & influence on other leaders. I'm so enjoying these interviews!"
Matthew, Canada

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