Wednesday, July 08, 2020

twenty-first-century ministry formation

One of my tasks over the last months has been to lead Faculty and interns in shifting a 9-day face to face intensive into a 10 -day online intensive. This has involved upskilling Faculty who have never before taught online and experimenting with ministry interns in new practices around online spiritual formation.

Today I worked through the intern evaluations, summarising the (de-identified) feedback on 13 areas of specific change made for this online intensive. This was the first step in order to be able to offer a report to the various governance and management bodies. As I finished the feedback, I found myself drafting some thoughts. They are very much draft, shaped as much by my ongoing reflection on the impact of COVID on the church in general (plus my recent work developing Bubble courses and Communities of Practice). As such, the words don’t belong so much in a block course governance report, but rather stand as a more general pondering about the future of ministry formation. Hence I note them here:

All new technology, whether a pen, the index of a book, a library catalogue or a learning management system, requires time to learn how best to utilise. How many of the skills that interns noted they were learning will, in fact, become essential ministry skills in the years ahead? Could it be that online learning needs to become an integral component of ministry formation? If so, then it will be essential that time is set aside for skill development. For example, sharing honestly and connecting socially in digital platforms, accessing online content and engaging in online spiritual disciplines. An education that integrates these dimensions will not only enhance the learning experience for all. It will also ensure a twenty-first-century citizen, in this case, an appropriately formed minister of the Word, able to participate in what God is up to, whether on or offline.

Posted by steve at 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 04, 2020

is that your bible – annotated bibliography

A few weeks ago, I wrote – Is that your Bible? – an opinion piece for ABC Religion and Ethics online. In about 850 words, I analysed a moment in popular culture – Donald Trump’s photo op in front of St. John’s Church – and reflected on what it might mean to read a sacred text.

Behind the opinion piece was a whole lot of thinking and reading. Here are 4 books I’ve found particularly significant:

First, Richard Burridge, Imitating Jesus carefully traces New Testament ethics as they focus on the person of Jesus. A final chapter examines apartheid as an ethical challenge. 75% of people in South Africa were involved in some sort of church during the Apartheid era and all sides considered they were acting “Biblically.” Burridge suggests four common approaches to reading Scripture and I used this as a framework to think through “Mary’s Bible” – using a mix of narrative and prescriptive commands in seeking to think about “law and order.”

burridge

Second, Gerard West, The Stolen Bible: From Tool of Imperialism to African Icon. West examines the Bible in the continent of African and argues that Africans have “stolen” the Bible. West tells the wonderful story ascribed to Tutu.

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land. And we got the better deal! – Desmond Tutu, The Stolen Bible: From Tool of Imperialism to African Icon, page 326.

This gives agency to readers. While the long arc of justice demands ongoing reparation for anything stolen, the playful and liberative ways that Scripture can enable creativity in resistance require us to pay careful attention to who is holding the Bible. And why.

Third, The Art of Reading Scripture has a great chapter by William Stacy Johnson “Reading the Scriptures Faithfully in a Postmodern Age.” Three statements provide for me a helpful checklist:

  • Statement 1 – Our text is a collection of stories – “A collection of Scriptures that renders a congeries of stories – stories that are not always saying quite the same thing. The testimony of this passage of Scripture is juxtaposed with the “countertestimony” of that passage of Scripture, and so on” (The Art of Reading Scripture, page 114).
  • Our text is a collection of flesh and blood stories – The Bible is about real people, real action, real drama, real choices. We need to read and preach this reality. What if Jacob had not tricked Esau out of his birthright? What is Jesus had made different choices in the Garden of Gethsemane? Capturing the drama of these stories is essential
  • Our text is an unfinished text. “What is most important are not the past meanings the stories are thought to contain but the present meanings they continually provoke in the community of faith. At the heart and soul of reading the Scriptures faithfully is the constant rehearing of stories – and also of sayings, commandments, prophecies, and other materials – whose repetition helps kindle and inflame, right here, at this very moment, the “new thing” that the God who is for us in Jesus Christ is calling into being.” The Art of Reading Scripture, page 116).

Fourth, Scripture and Resistance has a range of excellent chapters on how to read the Bible in ways that resist Empire. The introduction, by Jione Havea, “Negotiating with Scripture and Resistance” spotlights the reader. The Bible does not say anything apart from the reader. Readers interpret. Readers can ignore. Readers can silence. Readers shape what Scripture says (or not). This again is relevant to Trump’s holding the Bible, inviting us to step beyond the photo op and consider how the Bible is being read.

Holding a book is easy. Reading it well is an art.

Posted by steve at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Unbounding learning communities in Practical Theology

Practical Theology acceptance ..

Unbounding learning communities: Ako-empowered research in life-long ministerial formation

Steve Taylor and Rosemary Dewerse

Abstract: While formation is an essential practice of local church communities, the formation of ministers for ordination, along with continued professional education, is generally located in the context of higher education. ‘Ako’, describing a teaching and learning relationship grounded in reciprocity, and employed as an approach to researching life-long learning needs among ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, challenged this separation. The results of interviews and workshops with 285 lay and ordained leaders challenged the location of postgraduate provision in the context of higher education. The request was to teach leaders with their people in community in practices for living differently, with a focus on educating educators in relationally embodied ways. Educational experiments clarified ways of unbounding learning for local communities. These praxis-derived discoveries are clarified by conversation with the life of Jesus and Irenaeus’ theological anthropology of recapitulation. This brings clarity regarding the nature of ako as reciprocity in communities of practice and a reimagining of theological colleges as facilitators of unbounded local learning communities.

Keywords: ako, communities of practice, formation, Irenaueus, life-long learning, theological education

More fruit from the Thornton Blair Research project into life-long ministerial formation.

Posted by steve at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

intercession prayers with John Holt on Windrush

I was asked by the Church of Scotland to offer some worship resources (on Weekly Worship) that might connect with Windrush day. My favourite bit was reworking John Holt’s, Stick by me from The Tide is High, Anthology 1962-79 (Trojan Records) and imagining God singing to Hagar and Ishmael.

Lullaby God,
We hear You soothe in the desert
Singing to a crying child – Ishmael, Isaac climbing Mt Moriah and the Exodus children facing the Red Sea
We hear Your comfort, Don’t be afraid, When you cry, I cry too
Stick by me, I’ll stick by you

Lamenting God,
We hear You sing in the wildernessHope for a grieving mother – Hagar, Hannah, Elizabeth
We hear Your peace,
Don’t be afraid, When you cry, I cry too
Stick by me, I’ll stick by you

Serenading God of the Blues,
who mourns in the wilderness
For all families torn apart by bitterness, envy and strife
When you cry, I cry too
Remember my heart and my love belong to you,
We hear Your heart, Don’t be afraid, No one can tear us apart
Stick by me, I’ll stick by you

Harmonizing God
For all churches facing a hospitality crisis
Help us hear Your melody, harmonize with Your desert lullaby,
May we open our arms To all those estranged in our community
You’ve got a place in our heart, oh yeah
Stick by us, as we stick by You Amen.

“Stick by me, I’ll stick by you
When you cry, I cry, too, oh oh Stick by me and I’ll stick by you
Remember my heart and my love belong to you, oh oh
Stick by me, I’ll stick by you.”

It was back in December when I did the work and it is interesting to sit with the work I did on Windrush Day now – 6 months later – in light of COVID and of BLM. I think part have aged really well – for example this paragraph I wrote:

“New Zealand biblical scholar, Judith McKinley … argues that the wilderness and ethnic dimensions of the [Genesis 21:8-21] text resonate strongly with our world today. Hence this text allows us to have sensitive conversations with people today who experience marginalisation, including through gender and ethnicity.”

Posted by steve at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Imagining a New Normal

During lockdown one of the projects and communities, I’ve been involved in is Imagining a New Normal.

Within each Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand there are Mission Catalysts. Some are employed, some volunteer with a passion for God’s mission. During lockdown, these Mission Catalysts have gathered online, brought together by PressGo. The group is becoming a learning community, providing support, encouragement and sharing resources and ideas. As long-held assumptions about church services have been confronted and challenged, there are opportunities to talk about the possibilities of igniting a missional imagination, asking “what if?” questions and taking some risks.

Generally, the future unfolds in small steps. Change involves experiments, from which learnings are gleaned. This enables discernment toward the future. Mission Catalysts know the power of the story. Stories can ignite the imagination, evoke curiosity and help people to think differently.

SO … the Mission Catalysts set themselves the task of telling “what if” stories. We started from “what is” and then told forward where that might lead. Each story was then submitted to peer review. What are the mission practices embedded in each “imagining”. The stories have been collated and a first edition is here. I’ve got one, imagining local church wanting to simplify and seek to stay online. I also did some work, peer reviewing some of the peer reviewing, a way of me offering my missiology skills to the ongoing life of this important learning community.

safe_image

The aim is to give permission, offer grounded mission and so to spark more stories – for local communities to “out tell” us with their real life “what if” …

The next stories are yours. We want to hear from parishes, faith communities and small groups about the things that God has been stirring up. About the things you have tried that worked and the ones that didn’t. Stories that start with the seed of an idea, ask “what if” and then, with a playful demeanour, give it a go.

Posted by steve at 03:24 PM

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Building community and increasing participation online: international

I taught in Western Australia on Tuesday without leaving my home in Ōtepoti (Dunedin), New Zealand. What would be a 12 hour trip – one way – took about 1 second. Such is the power of online technology.

A few weeks ago, as part of my role with the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, I offered online a short evening course – Building community and increasing participation online. Given the way that COVID was forcing so much of life online – with churches unable to meet and work from home being enforced – I sort to resource church leaders.

I’ve been working in the online space in a whole variety of ways for decades – building my own website back last century, blogging since 2002, having a social media presence (twitter since 2008), encouraging theological colleagues online while Principal at Uniting College, making short educative video since 2011, developing the learning management system while Principal at KCML. So a short course on Building community and increasing participation online, as part of the recent KCML Bubble courses, made sense.

The Building community and increasing participation online short course began with theology. What type of images of God might help us understand being online? I then offered some recent research into use of social media. Who are humans in online spaces? I then offered some practical resources to enhance wellbeing and engagement. This included case studies, reflection on experience and examples of different uses of technology platforms.

The course was focused on Presbyterians in New Zealand and gained excellent feedback. However, because it was online, it also gained international participation. One was a Presbytery minister from Western Australia. Who afterward mentioned the value of Building community and increasing participation online to their team.

Why not do it again for them? Online, this is possible internationally even with lockdown.

international

So on Tuesday, I taught 15 church leaders in Western Australia without leaving my home! Again, I worked alongside co-host Tash McGill. This is an intentional part of the design, an essential way of building community online. As part of the short course, Tash explained the role of co-host and talked about the range of ways to educate online. This began a practical exercise, as the church leaders were invited to design their own “short course” to suit their online context. Practical and participatory.

If it can be done once, in New Zealand and twice, in Australia, it can be done anywhere. So, if you want 2 hours of theology, research and practical resourcing, that is interactive, timely and engaging, drop me a line – steve at emergentkiwi dot org dot nz

Posted by steve at 09:00 PM

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Is that your Bible?

An opinion piece I wrote – Is that your Bible? – has been accepted by ABC Religion and Ethics and is up on their online portal. It’s an analysis of a moment in popular culture and some reflection on what it means to use and abuse religious symbols. It’s always been a bucket list to pitch an idea to a national news organisation and try to connect theology with current events.

So I looked at other pieces on the portal to get an idea of word length (scope). Then I did a quick google to find out what else had been written (unique) and pitched the concept on Wednesday, using a short acronym from Sam Dylan Fitch (here)

P – Purpose. What’s the point of your piece?
A – Audience. Who are you talking to?
U – Unique. What’s new about your take?
S – Scope. Is it “too big” or just right?
E – Editor. Did you spell their name correctly and review their guidelines/pub? Does your pitch reflect that?

and with 4 edits over the next 4 days, had it published on Monday.

Posted by steve at 09:12 PM

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Fire and Rain on Just and Unjust Alike: Zadok autumn 2020 column

IMG_8485

I am a columnist for Zadok, an Australian publication focused on Christian engagement with Australian society. The latest issue (Autumn 2020) is on climate change and is packed with articles on plastic, zero-waste lifestyles and theological themes of creation and hope. I provide a short (860 words) reflection on the use of “hell on earth” to describe bushfires. It is a fascinating phrase to use in societies claiming to be secular and somehow becomes a detour through apocalyptic language to the Sermon on the Mount and the church as nurturing the art of conversation across polarised communities and that fascinating line from U2:

Choose your enemies carefully, ’cause they will define you/
Make them interesting, because in some ways they will mind you/
(from Cedars of Lebanon, in U2’s No Line On The Horizonalbum)

You can order the magazine here.

Posted by steve at 01:17 PM

Monday, May 25, 2020

KCML Bubble courses: Lockdown special? Or the sign of a #newnormal?

A short piece I wrote for the Knox Centre for Ministry and leadership website, also cross posting it here.

SM BUBBLE BANNER

‘Stick to your bubble’, the Prime Minister announced on Tuesday 24 March. In response to the first cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in Aotearoa, New Zealand was entering bubble time.

Bubbles can be beautiful, sparkling red, green and blue as sunlight touches their fragile surface. Equally, bubbles can be delicate, a thin film so easily broken.

Entering our bubbles, Aoteroa was forced into new ways of living, working and playing. Worshipping on lounge room sofas, running businesses from a kitchen table, learning from our laptop soon became the new normal.Wanting to resource the Presbyterian church during the lockdown, KCML offering “Bubble courses.” KCML Faculty with expertise in preaching, leadership and Christian formation went online during Level 3 to offer sixty minutes of evening input. How to preach in a pandemic? How to lead in change? How to build a community online?

For six evenings, ministers, session clerks, paid and voluntary church leaders, found themselves learning together online. New connections were made across diverse Presbyteries as lay and ordained were sent to online break rooms to share experiences.

Every Bubble course attracted between 30 to 45 participants. Sessions were recorded, and those unable to attend can access these through the KCML Living library.

While advertised to Presbyterians, the wonder of social media meant that participants were logging in from England and Australia, keen to learn from the calibre of Faculty at KCML.

“Thank you for allowing me to participate from ‘across the ditch’. This has been truly helpful already. The high-quality input and interactive nature are making it accessible and interesting.”

Each session was co-hosted, with social media strategist Tash McGill coming on board to welcome participants, provide technical support and enhance the conversation. Co-hosting was a way of modelling to churches ways to build online participation. Tash commented ”
As a specialist in digital transformation and online community, this was a venture into hope casting. The participation, active reflection and safety created demonstrated ways to build very present and real learning experiences in digital ways.”

This was new terrain for KCML Faculty. For Geoff New “What struck me was the deep level of trust and transparency. Participants engaged immediately, opening up to people they did not know. A college of preachers was created. Wonderful!”

For Steve Taylor, “It was wonderful to scan faces as people returned from online breakout small groups and see the range of people. Overseas ministers, Presbytery and local church leaders, LOM and NOM ministers were all learning and sharing together.”

The feedback from participants has been heartwarming. Words and phrases like “goldmine”, “excellent”, “stimulating” and phrases like “impressively well run”, “great service to the church”, “beautiful and interestingly presented” were used.

Is Bubble learning limited to a lockdown? Could online learning that is timely, thought provoking, conversational, engaging be part of a #newnormal for the Presbyterian church? The feedback certainly included requests for a sequel. One participant wrote

“I hope they can continue in some form – I think we need these to extend our “local church bubbles” to connect, interact and grow.”

KCML is seeking further feedback and working to discern future directions with the Leadership Subcommittee.

Steve Taylor
20 May 2020

Posted by steve at 01:46 PM

Friday, May 15, 2020

public theology conversations amid the ups and downs of Zoom

I co-presented at a University of Auckland Business and International Relations research seminar, with Associate Professor Christine Woods on Thursday. We were offering an interdisciplinary focus, a conversation about social innovation in church contexts, building on our work over the last 3 years with the Lighthouse encouraging innovation at grassroots across the Presbyterian Church. It felt like a real moment of public theology, as Hebrew Wisdom literature, Paul and Jesus became conversation partners in a business research context.

slide

Given the COVID-19 lockdown, the seminar was entirely by Zoom. It was great not to have to think about travelling from Dunedin to Auckland, but simply walk downstairs and log on. However, any feelings of up rapidly descended down into panic.

The down was losing my co-presenter mid-presentation. We were taking turn about through the presentation, each speaking to our area of disciplinary strength. So I was doing Jesus and Paul, while my colleague was making the social innovation connections, including offering a new reading of an economist called Josef Schumpeter. Just as she prepared to compare the 1911 1st edition in German and the 1934 3rd edition in English, her screen froze. In horror, I realised she had gone. Here was I, a theologian, about to try and explain an economist to a room full of business lecturers and students. I stumbled through, recalling what we had rehearsed together. Sure enough, just as I finished, Christine came back on line. Just in time to grin and let me pick up on the next slide, the connectional theology of Paul Fiddes.

The up. I wonder if Zoom opens up different, and more conversational style. Christine and I have co-facilitated for three years, so we know each other well. We have been writing up this piece of research for about 6 months. We spoke without a full script, working our way through different slides. It felt conversational and dialogical. But I wondered what it would have been like face to face. The two of us standing at the front. The awareness of body language, paying attention as the other spoke. In contrast, Zoom switches speaker. I am no longer as visible if I need to turn over my notes or take a sip of water. What I am wearing is no longer as important. Our conversational style felt much more suitable to the technology, enhanced by Zoom.

Despite the ups and downs, it was a great experience. About 40 folk were present, which is the largest research seminar I’ve ever been to. Lots of expressions of thanks for our excellent presentation. And some great questions. I try and take notes of questions, to help my ongoing processing and checking the clarity of our argument. Here is what I recall (I might have missed a couple):

  • Innovation is defined as including both novelty and value. Where is the value in social innovation?
  • How did we assess the outcomes of what we did at Lighthouse?
  • How does the church respond to these ideas?
  • Entrepreneur or Entrepreneurship? Are you advocating a hero model of entrepreneur or a process model of entrepreneurship

All great questions as we put the finishing touches on a journal article submission.

Posted by steve at 06:40 PM

Friday, May 08, 2020

Building community and increasing participation online

During lockdown, in order to resource the wider church, I’ve found myself offering two evenings of online input on building community and increasing participation online. It is part of Bubble courses – a KCML experiment – in which we are seeking to offer some timely, conversational, thought provoking. Given the move to online that much of humanity is being forced into, I chose to focus on building community and increasing participation online.

This is a good idea in theory.

Bubble Courses2

But in practice it means I have to practice what I preach! I have to model building community and increasing participation online.

Break out rooms are an easy option. They allow processing but don’t give me as a facilitator much idea of what is happening. In addition, meeting strangers is always a bit awkward, particularly online.

For the first week, I wanted to gain a much more direct read of the group. I decided to do this through the use of chat and polls. I carefully crafted questions and then gave short periods of silence and encouraged the intentional use of Zoom chat function to record responses. I also offered an online poll at the start, to gain feedback which was woven in at a three different points during the 60-minute session, to generate comparison and discussion.

This is all greatly helped by teaching with a co-host – meaning together there are two sets of eyes reading every comment, troubleshooting as possible, giving each other time to think, providing different standpoints from which to respond.

The next day, I did some analysis of the chat comments. There were 148 distinct comments in chat, an average of one every 25 seconds over the 60 minutes. 31 different folk provided chat comments. Given that 43 people turned up on Zoom, this meant that 73% of folk had participated through chat. Of that 73 %, the gender balance was exactly even, with 15 females and 15 males participated (along with one user who was unknown).

It is interesting to ponder what would have happened if I’d run a 60-minute session face to face: would 31 participants have been able to provide direct responses to me over a 60 minute first lecture? I suspect not.

For the second week, with community starting to form with and some shared data (all those lovely 148 comments), it allows us to explore other forms of participation. So yesterday, I emailed participants – to thank them for the engagement and to offer them feedback on some of the comment data. But also to seek their participation in shaping our second week. Again, this involves a simple poll.

polling

Each participant is asked what they want more of – more theology? more research into online spirituality? more practical tips? This data will shape the second week, as together we work to build community and increase participation online.

Posted by steve at 08:55 PM

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Jesus as a socially (ir)responsible innovator research seminar

I’m committed to interdisciplinary research. As Paul Fiddes writes, Christian theology needs “to keep a conversation going with others outside the church, and to occupy a public space alongside late-modern thinkers” (Seeing the World and Knowing God: Hebrew Wisdom and Christian Doctrine in a Late-Modern Context, 2013, 13).  As a result, I find myself co-presenting – via Zoom – at a research seminar on Thursday 14 May, with Dr Christine Woods, at the Faculty of Business & Economics at the University of Auckland.

Christine is Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. We began working together three years ago, with the Lighthouse weekend, which sought to encourage mission and innovation, primarily among lay leaders nationally across the Presbyterian Church. 

Unknown-8 We’ve both found the interdisciplinary relationship quite engaging and co-presented (OK, Christine presented, together we wrote) at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship 2020 conference in New Orleans in January.

Now, with the wonders of technology, I will find myself talking Hebrew Wisdom literature, Jesus and Paul at the Faculty of Business & Economics at the University of Auckland on Thursday. Here’s our abstract.

Jesus as a socially (ir)responsible innovator: seeking the common good in a dialogue between wisdom Christologies and social entrepreneurship

Abstract:

Within Christian academic circles discussion on entrepreneurship has included the notion of missional entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. This produces a challenging set of discussions around the relationship between market capitalism and Christian belief. In this paper we specifically extend the discussion on social entrepreneurship and suggest that Jesus can be read as a socially (ir)responsible innovator.

A connectional theology is used to develop an interdisciplinary contribution between theology and social entrepreneurship. The work of Schumpeter, who argues for innovation as social change through a mechanism of creative recombination is brought into creative dialogue with Wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures.

The potential of recombination is developed first in Pauline literature, particularly in 1 Corinthians as ministry is understood as serving, gardening, building, resource managing, risking and parenting. Each of these six dimensions can be theorised as recombinations in which Paul seeks social change, including in family life, in ways that in fact are socially irresponsible, challenging existing hierarchical patterns. The potential of recombination is further tested in analysing Jesus as a socially (ir)responsible innovator. This begins with examination of wisdom Christologies and Jesus as the fulfilment of God (Matthew 5:17). What emerges is recombinations that again seek social change, including in gender patterns, and hence are socially irresponsible as they challenge existing hierarchical patterns.

Theoretically, we argue that Jesus the socially irresponsible innovator is an act of public theology. A dialogue between academic disciplines of theology and social entrepreneurship is possible bringing together the three domains of church, academy and world. Practically, this is grounded in educational contexts, in which we have engaged in interdisciplinary praxis. This includes developing Innovation Canvas and Next Step resources to encourage social entrepreneurship among grassroots religious communities. The result is an envisioning of the church as a player in innovation, the world as locus of activity for agency of God and a wisdom innovation that inhabits an ethically coherent narrative.

Posted by steve at 11:17 PM

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bubble courses: a KCML innovation

An educational experiment I’ve been working on for the last few weeks, seeking ways to facilitate learning and community in the context of a global pandemic.

During Level 3 in Aotearoa, Bubble courses provide input for leaders, elders, ministers and whole people of God. They are timely, conversational, engaging, thought-provoking.

  • Geoff New The Practice of Preaching in a Pandemic – Thursday 30th April and Thursday May 7th
  • Nikki Watkin Leading in change: conversations and creativity – Monday 4th May and Monday 11th May
  • Steve Taylor – Building community and increasing participation online – Tuesday 5th May and Tuesday 12th May

7:30-8:30 pm (NZT) evenings.  To register and get a zoom link, contact registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz.

Bubble Courses2

Posted by steve at 01:54 PM

Saturday, April 25, 2020

communities of practice as action-reflection tools

It’s been an extraordinarily generative week for me.

  • First, I found myself offering a closed facebook group to bring practitioners of innovation in digital worlds into contact with research. That has generated 38 members and over 200 comments as people interacted with research on faith formation.
  • Second, I hosted an online video conversation in which 25 folk from 4 countries engaged further around their experiences of innovation in digital worlds.
  • Third, I’m potentially offering a community of practice, in which folk wanting to experiment can meet with peers for support and reflection. This is still forming and might not yet materialise – life is so fluid for so many people. However, it is astonishing to realise this wasn’t even on my radar 7 days ago.

Companies of friends in the journey of innovation.

There is action, and there needs to be space for reflection. Reflection can be individual, as I write and journal. Reflection can be individual, as I read and engage with the experiences and insights of others, and so see my actions more carefully. Reflection can be communal, as I share my intuitions and half-baked processing and gain wisdom simply from those who give the gift of listening; even active-listening, which draws me into free speech. Reflection can be communal, the conversations that result from sharing, the connections that get made.

So I’m offering a Community of Practice for those innovating in digital faith. It is for active people already doing stuff this is a space to reflect, to process with peers. And I have this hope, this pleading, that it won’t be my last. I dream of multiple Communities of Practice, in which unique projects (actions), by those facing a shared challenge, are enhanced by the space to reflect – individually and communally.

 

COP

Posted by steve at 12:51 PM