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CTC to Spark a New Story - Three Weekly News Stories to Focus on Gifts and Possibilities

Starting today, stories exploring the gifts and possibilities of Memphis neighborhoods will be posted on this site three times a week. Amy Moritz, director of the Center for Transforming Communities (CTC), says stories of transformation abound in our local neighborhoods. Working alongside church and community members in Memphis, Amy sees what happens when people shift their focus from deficits and problems to gifts and possibilities. It is those stories CTC will be sharing. Stories will show how people and organizations came together to create The Commons on Merton. These stories will follow how the organizations in The Commons, all with different mission, are working together toward the common good. A second theme of stories will follow changes in eight neighborhoods connecting through Communities of Shalom activities. “I’m hoping that some larger momentum or energy comes from us sharing these stories,” Amy says. If stories aren’t shared we won’t know what other possibilities might be sparked in the greater Memphis community,” she says. CTC is working with Axiom News, a team of generative journalists who are also committed to the gifts and possibilities narrative. The two organizations were connected by Peter Block, who will be visiting Memphis in November. CTC invited Block and his colleagues John McKnight and Walter Brueggemann to host a conversation about building community capacity in neighborhoods. The gathering on November 14, 2012 is already getting more attention than organizers had expected. Axiom News works alongside organizations and communities throughout North America to explore and amplify their strengths and dreams through high-frequency news stories. The company shares stories between communities so people can learn from and inspire one another. “Having a partner who can hear our story through the lens of the principles we seek to nurture in community is such a complement to what we are doing,” Amy says. “We connected instantly with CTC’s values,” says Peter Pula, Axiom News. “Our hope is to provide an easy way for CTC connectors to get their stories told. So many people are doing amazing things. Usually they are so busy doing those amazing things that they don’t get around to writing or publishing stories. That can be hard work unless you are doing it all the time. Our gifts are in that domain.” Peter anticipates new people will also come forward to co-create media and stories. “Whether its individuals, journalists, photographers, videographers, social media activists, or organizations with their own story-telling capacities, by working together we can co-create many stories and weave them into a new narrative,” he says. Peter expects the community will soon find ways to sustain a possibilities narrative independent of Axiom’s involvement. “When that happens we will continue to point people to the stories of Memphis neighborhoods for inspiration.” If you know someone who has a gift and whose story could be told please get in touch with Amy Moritz at the Center for Transforming Communities, 901-324-3005, or write to

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