Civic Saturday reflections . . . It’s magic y’all

On Saturday, September 14, at the C Bar C Ranch in Powell Butte, Oregon, Citizen University, Healthy Democracy, Oregon Humanities, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium partnered to host Civic Saturday, a morning filled with civic reflection, connections, and inspiration.

Wendy Willis, a Civic Seminarian through the Citizen University and the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, provided her thoughts and reflections on the experience with her blog, titled “Magic, y’all.” Here’s an excerpt: 

Once in a while magic happens.  All right, all right, I know that magic happens every day. But once in a while, we feel the full force of it. And last Saturday—for me—was one of those days.

I had the great good fortune to help plan and participate in a Civic Saturday—which my friends Eric Liu and Jená Cane, who co-founded Civic Saturdays, call the civic analogue to church—at the C Bar C Ranch in Powell Butte, Oregon. Though the C Bar C is 155 miles from my house here in Southeast Portland, our hosts Bob Cain and Ty Yazzie, made me and all the guests feel like we had found our way home.  As for my friends, Robin Teater (Healthy Democracy) and Adam Davis (Oregon Humanities), I guarantee they are the best partners in democracy.

I know, you all, I can hear your skepticism from here. A “civic analogue to church” sounds a little suspect. But believe me, we need it. We need shared ritual. We need singing. We need to gather in good faith with strangers.

And last Saturday, in the midst of all that, I had the tremendous honor to offer what Eric and Jená call the “civic sermon.” I wish you had been there, Paula. You would have loved the whole event  But since you were way over on the other coast, I thought you might want to read my attempt at a sermon.  It’s about home and belonging, topics I know are important to you, too.

For the full blog, please visit Wendy’s website, Two Women & A Republic.

Kelly Coates
Office Coordinator, Healthy Democracy