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Stories

Seeking the "Shalom" of the City 

Nancy Carroll

  Hospitality offered by Christi Wilson and Elizabeth Dortch and cupcakes by Dreamcakes own Aaron Conrad. Photo by    Emily Kicklighter

Hospitality offered by Christi Wilson and Elizabeth Dortch and cupcakes by Dreamcakes own Aaron Conrad. Photo by Emily Kicklighter


InSpero packed its fifth birthday celebration on September 14 at the Clubhouse on Highland with new and old friends, music, food, cupcakes, photo booths, balloons, and joy. This magical evening was made possible by the many volunteers, donors, and Bob McKenna for sharing this vision which is InSpero. Below are some photos and a short excerpt of what Nancy shared that night. Keep scrolling down to see some of the beautiful offerings coming this year.

  Our featured guests,    Jill Phillips    and    Andy Gullahorn   . Photo by    Emily Kicklighter

Our featured guests, Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn. Photo by Emily Kicklighter

  Photo booth provided by    Charity Ponter    (p.s. that's Elizabeth and Christi in the frame.) Photo by Emily Kicklighter

Photo booth provided by Charity Ponter (p.s. that's Elizabeth and Christi in the frame.) Photo by Emily Kicklighter

   Gina Hurry   , founder and CEO. Arden Dortch, administrator/event planner;    Nancy Carroll,    president Photo by Emily Kicklighter

Gina Hurry, founder and CEO. Arden Dortch, administrator/event planner; Nancy Carroll, president Photo by Emily Kicklighter

  Laughter and joy were the hallmarks of the night. Photo by Josh Vigneulle

Laughter and joy were the hallmarks of the night. Photo by Josh Vigneulle

  Nancy and Gina pausing in prayer before the festivities Photo by Emily Kicklighter

Nancy and Gina pausing in prayer before the festivities Photo by Emily Kicklighter

One reason I love InSpero is because it isn’t easily defined (or even pronounced).

inSPARROW.

It's a movement, an offering. It's a way of seeing, acknowledging, healing, and restoring our beautiful, broken city through the stirring of our creative community. There’s a passage in Scripture where the prophet Jeremiah tells the exiled Israelites to "flourish" the city where God sent them. He uses the beautiful Hebrew word "shalom" that encompasses peace, wholeness, welfare, flourishing, a sense of rightness or as Andy Gullahorn's upcoming album is titled “Everything As It Should Be.”

This room (as well as you reading this post) is filled with shalom seekers. But how do shalom seekers keep going when they see and feel the brokenness every day? For me, the last few years have been painful. My default to the brokenness around and in me is to check out, find some safe anesthetic to numb myself.  But I was reminded recently that "an-esthetic" means the absence of sensation or awareness, the loss of our five senses. That’s another reason I love InSpero. It helps me fight to come back to my senses, to the beauty around me. It’s the artists and artisans, the poets and potters, the prophets and pastors, the musicians and makers, the dreamers and dancers, the chefs and the storytellers who help keep us awake, alive, willing to hope, willing to be hurt again. They remind us there’s more to come. Beauty can hurt. It is so fleeting. But it is so worth it. And hope can hurt, but we can’t live without it.

May InSpero (Spero=Hope in Latin+Inspired=God breathed) give you a breath of holy hope. 


 

InSpero Calendar of Events 2018-2019

Bridge Builder Dinner
October 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

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Deidre Clark, founder of KUUMBA and Birmingham TedX speaker and dear friend of InSpero, will share from her participation in the Aspen Ideas Festival. InSpero's Bridge Builders is a group of artists and city visionaries seeking to understand and help heal the divisions and wounds of our city. 

 

Film Screening "Revival: The Sam Bush Story"
Followed by Q&A with Wayne Franklin, Wannabe Films
November 30
 

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Birmingham's own Wayne Franklin, co-director of the new music documentary, "Revival: The Sam Bush Story" will be available to answer questions after we view this film about the Father of Bluegrass. Location TBA. 

Annual Lent Retreat

March 5 

InSpero will offer a one-day retreat inviting artists to create through the season of Lent. It will be followed by a gallery art show of their work. 

 

David Wilcox Concert Benefiting InSpero
Thursday, March 21
Leaf and Petal, Cahaba Heights

Breakfast and Conversation with Creatives
Songwriter Workshop
March 22

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Please stay tuned for more information as the amazing singer-songwriter David Wilcox gives a benefit concert for InSpero, Inc. on Thursday, March 21 at the Leaf and Petal in Cahaba Heights and follows it with a deeper conversations and a songwriting workshop for local musicians and artists on Friday, March 22. If you're interested in helping to sponsor this concert and/or workshop, please email nancy@inspero.org.
                              


Annual Pastor Artist Dinner
April 9 

One of the most powerful events we do each year is a deep conversation between five senior pastors and five artists in the city around a chef-created meal. 
 


Magic City Storytellers 
The Clubhouse on Highland
June 13, 6-9 p.m.


Save the date and watch when the tickets go on sale for this event because it has sold out in the last few years. Two local singer-songwriters, two writers, two poets weave together story and song along with beautiful appetizers and drinks all at the Clubhouse on Highland.