Community in Conversation: Small-town America


By Sarah Riehm
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church

Our Community in Conversation seminar series continues April 6, with the discussion book “Small Town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future,” by Robert Wuthnow. 

The purpose of Community in Conversation is to find common ground and equip people with tools they need to have meaningful discussions on important issues in our community. 

These discussions are free and offered on the Zoom platform until COVID restrictions are lifted. Small town America runs for eight weeks on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. If you’d like to be on the distribution list for the Zoom invitations, please email Sarah Riehm at

“So many books about ‘issues’ these days are written with a political ax to grind,” said Riehm, the organizer. “This book offers a refreshingly neutral look at the benefits and challenges of living in a town like Pagosa Springs. It will allow us to have some fun discussions about our history and our community culture. Later in the series, we’ll look at some of our contentious issues and talk about future priorities. As I’ve only lived in Pagosa full time for two years, my role will be as a moderator, not an instructor. My hope is to bring in local experts to expand our knowledge of what’s going on in our beloved community. This should be a great discussion for people new to town, as well as old-timers who will be encouraged to tell their important stories.”

Riehm has taught in the MBA schools at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Texas. She is an experienced workshop and seminar leader. Over the years, she has been a community leader and city commissioner in Richardson, Texas. Currently, she serves as the music director at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. She also holds an MFA in writing for stage and screen, and is an active working writer, playwright and screenwriter. Under the name Sarah Lawrence, she has two plays scheduled for production when COVID lifts. She also runs a daily (free) blog for spiritual development at, which is based on the life and work of St. Hildegard (1098-1179), the most accomplished woman who ever lived. 

Sign up soon to be included in the survey on community benefits and challenges that you would like included in the discussion during the eight-week course.