Letting the Light In

We did it.

Nearly sixty writers from across the country gathered outside of Newberg for the first of a series of annual writing retreats – Letting the Light In: Writing for the Growth of the Soul. The retreat, hosted by Tilikum and jointly sponsored by Barclay Press and Renovaré, was for Christian writers who “need the vision to wrestle honestly with the complexities of the human condition and the skills to articulate those realities in ways that are crisp and imaginative.”

We explored writing as a spiritual practice, prayed together, made music together, ate together, shared readings from our work. We explored the spiritual disciplines that inform good writing. We talked about the rhythms of the creative process. We considered what it means both to tend the light we’ve been given and to shine light into the lives of those who read our stories. On Saturday afternoon, we celebrated the life and work of Richard Foster with the groundbreaking for a Writers Cabin that will sit next to Tilikum Lake, just a few hundred yards from the spot where – nearly 40 years ago – Richard worked on Celebration of Discipline.

We agreed to write light into the world.

And we were reminded what this work of writing light requires: we dare not avert our eyes from the darkness. Where the heartbreak, the injustice, and the hatred is – that is where we must do our work.

During the weekend, I met personally with a handful of writers. People pregnant with stories. On tenderness. On trauma. On life. Some of these stories will be books for Barclay Press to help birth.

I could use your help.

I shared last week that our goal this year is to raise $25,000. That amount will allow us to continue cutting into our long-term debt while increasing the number and diversity of titles we publish. This is not an exciting fund-raising project. But after my experience this weekend, I know it’s important. Please consider one of the following:

  • Click on Share Stories Change Lives in the right margin of this letter to donate through Paypal. Any amount helps, and if you click the “Make this a monthly donation” box, you can spread out the effect of your gift and increase our financial stability.
  • Mail a check to Barclay Press, 211 N. Meridian St. #101, Newberg, OR 97132; or call us at (800) 962-4014 to make a donation by phone.

In her presentation on Saturday night, Gina Ochsner reminded us that “we are light keepers.... We send the light because we know that if we didn’t, lives would be lost.” 

The world needs more light.

Eric Muhr