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Anchor Magazine,  Issue 01, Spring 2014 Artwork:  "Victoria"  by Kirby Erlandson

Anchor Magazine, Issue 01, Spring 2014
Artwork: "Victoria" by Kirby Erlandson

I’m proud to share with you Still Harbor’s new magazine, Anchor.

In this inaugural issue, I hope you will witness the courage, imagination, and service that unfold in the collection of essays, poems, and artwork.

As the editors shared in their letter, the magazine emerged from the desire to explore “how thoughts, beliefs, ideas, personal narratives, spiritual practices, and creative expressions can help us understand spirituality and social justice more deeply.” Read their full letter below the fold. 

Anchor will be published in the spring and fall as part of Still Harbor’s new Institute for Spiritual Formation & Society. The Institute, under the leadership of Perry Dougherty, will bring Still Harbor’s approach out into the world by developing resources like this magazine, white papers, and curricula in addition to facilitating customized retreats and spiritual formation programs for communities, organizations, and institutions.

Anchor is one of the ways we are endeavoring to reach more people and organizations in the years to come. So, as you spend time with the articles, poetry, and artwork of this first issue, I invite you to journey with your own spiritual discernment and questioning. I encourage you to witness the divine, sacred stirrings within yourself as you read the expressions of spirit shared by the individuals who have contributed pieces of their lives and service to the pages of this magazine.

If you'd like to receive Anchor, subscribe here:

I hope you will enjoy Anchor as much as I do. In the comments below, I encourage you to share any feedback with us.

With gratitude,


It is an honor to release this inaugural issue of Anchor after what has been nearly two years of reflection, expression, and conversation. The three of us came together for the first time in a workshop series at Still Harbor, entitled Writing as Contemplative Practice. The series offered space for us to share stories and silences, to explore expressions and experiences, and most importantly, to ask questions of ourselves and of the sacred. Our shared fascination with the simultaneous knowing and unknowing that seemed to emerge in the places where spirituality and social justice meet in our lives and work propelled us into this project. Our interest only deepened as we gathered with potential contributors at last year’s Serving Our Communities: The role of spirituality in making change conference hosted by Still Harbor and Imago Dei Fund.

At last, this spring, we assembled the set of essays, poems, and artwork you find here in hopes of creating a publication that allows its reader—you—to open up to an experience of witness. The selections in this issue, in particular, all offer some form of testimonial, ranging from mystical to pragmatic. Roshi Joan Halifax shares stories of compassionate accompaniment of the dying. Kirby Erlandson shares portraits and voices from Muhuru Bay, Kenya. Julie Barnes offers a winding inner reflection on freedom. And we could go on. We believe that the diverse voices, traditions, and perspectives of our contributors in this issue, and over time, will open up a meaningful exploration of the intersection of spirituality and social justice.

...we invite you now into a small moment of retreat with these pages...

As editors, we have been asking ourselves how thoughts, beliefs, ideas, personal narratives, spiritual practices, and creative expressions can help us understand both spirituality and social justice more deeply. We have asked what is the source and meaning of spirituality and social justice for ourselves and for others, and we have wanted to know how the two can support each other. Sometimes these questions (and others) have seemed answerless. But then we will encounter a story that grips us in body, mind, and spirit, or we will discover a work of art that offers us an experience of the strength of life that awes and amazes us. From this place of witness, we remember the beauty and knowing of our shared existence and feel connected to something greater than ourselves. The world can be a difficult and daunting place, especially for those of us on the front lines of social justice work. But to go into service and activism without such remembrance and connection is even more daunting. Even amidst pain and uncertainty, the power of what we share and the ways we connect can uphold us.

Our wish is that this publication will offer moments of encounter and experience with the source of such power and connection, and so, we invite you now into a small moment of retreat with these pages. We invite you to bear witness to your Self, to the stories and expressions of Others, and to the Sacred or unknown; for it is from such experiences that we are able to see clearly where spirituality and social justice meet.

With peace and love, Perry, Nadia, and Elissa


Editorial Team

C. Perry Dougherty
Nadia Colburn, Ph.D.
Elissa Melaragno

Visit to read more about the editorial team.