On the Brink of Everything… With a Sacred Safety Net

Recently in one of our weekly “Practicing Prayerful Presence” Groups (click here for more info), a friend shared with us a powerful poem titled “Safety Net.”

Spoiler Alert! [It ends with the line “as we walk the day’s tightrope…every tie matters.”]

The images in the poem keep speaking to me with fresh insights to the profound care and courage that emerges as we are intentionally present in the moment to the soul stories within and all around us. It is like an eternal-truth compass that guides our life-long journey, especially in the most difficult of times. And it helps us find our balance in those precarious moments as we learn to trust God’s Presence, Peace and Hidden Wholeness beneath our fears.

For at least 20 years, author Parker Palmer’s humble wisdom has helped me notice that every tie matters, and that soulful presence makes new connections and strengthens the sacred net.

Starting Monday, July 19th we will be exploring themes in Parker Palmer’s latest (and perhaps final) book, titled “On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity & Getting Old.” It is about, in the midst of our current lives, making room for the healing and wisdom in our souls. As we slow down to listen with a deepening trust, we experience deeper connections. We honor and are encouraged by one another, as we listen in the Spirit with “ears of the heart.”

This new study will go for 7 weeks. Though open to people of all ages & generations who are aware of limits in life, it is especially for elders. Great and fresh knowing can emerge as we let go of internal busy-ness and face difficult challenges “on the brink of everything.”

Practicing Prayerful Presence is an ongoing group on Zoom, open to anyone able to join us any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, 9:30 – 10:30 am. It is a grace-filled group in which our souls are invited into a caring community for deep listening, where “every tie matters.”

So come join us whenever you are able.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
July 19 – September 3 | 9:30 – 10:30 am | Zoom

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Len Delony
Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation

Praise for On the Brink of Everything.

“Parker Palmer is one of my greatest mentors. He has the spirit of a poet and the stature of a prophet.” — Krista Tippett

“Parker Palmer is the most integral and wholehearted teacher of our age. At 80, he has seen much, questioned everything, and returned with essential wisdom. This book will stir your soul” — Mark Nepo

“Our entire culture is in need of true elders, and you can’t be one until you have arrived there — chronologically, spiritually, and intellectually. Here’s a man who has arrived, with another book that is a generous gift to us all.” — Richard Rohr

Parker Palmer has mentored countless young people, including me. My greatest aspiration is to journey through life and arrive at the brink as Parker has, with humility and faithfulness.” — Valerie Kaur

Safety Net
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

This morning I woke
thinking of all the people I love
and all the people they love
and how big the net
of lovers. It felt so clear,
all those invisible ties
interwoven like silken threads
strong enough to make a mesh
that for thousands of years
has been woven and rewoven
to catch us all.
Sometimes we go on
as if we forget
about it. Believing only
in the fall. But the net
is just as real. Every day,
with every small kindness,
with every generous act,
we strengthen it. Notice,
even now, how
as the whole world
seems to be falling, it
is there for us as we
walk the day’s tightrope,
how every tie matters.


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