Tuesday, September 26, 2017

leading from the emerging future

I have started a 13 week course through MIT and edX called ULab: Leading from the Emerging Future.  About 12,000 participants from 145 countries are involved..many in work groups across sectors of government, health care, business, environmental science, and more....

The opening of our live video last week grabbed me:  

"We are living in an age of disruption."

 "We see communities responding in one of three ways."

1. Downloading. We listen from a habitual place that reconfirms old patterns and beliefs.  This keeps us stuck in a status quo, doing what we've known to do but not getting us to a better place.

2.  Another response is to move backward as the mind, heart, and will closes in hopes of protecting self and the familiar.   

3.  Leaning forward through a mind, heart, and will that is open to seeing with fresh eyes, sensing/connecting in different ways, being still and surrendering, letting the new come, and working to co-create through curiosity, compassion, and courage.  

This experience is aimed at helping us move from an ego-system of me to an eco-system of we.  
Its premise is that leaders have results they produce and processes they use, but under both of those are the sources from which they operate.  Most of the time we cannot see the source from which we operate; we aren't aware of the place from which our attention and intention originate.  

The challenges we face require us to become aware and change the inner place from which we operate.  "The essence of leadership is to become aware of the blind spot from which we operate, both individually and collectively, and then shift."  

I have been thinking so much about all the Scripture that undergirds what's being taught in this diagram.  

-Be still and know that I am God.
-Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
-You are a new creation in Christ, the old is gone the new is here.
-Do not fear. (over and over through Bible)
-Love your neighbor as yourself.
-Invitation to join Christ in his redemptive work.

In this first week of class, I am reflecting on ways that I'm personally involved in the absencing arch, and I'm considering where I'm living in the presencing U.  I'm also thinking about this regarding privilege and systemic racism.  And I'm thinking about this regarding the white American Evangelical Church.

Much to chew on as I jump into module one!  You can check out this course yourself, if interested:  


"We cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them."  -Albert Einsten 


Sunday, September 24, 2017

white awake

"As Christians, we must embark upon an awakening journey- a path that will lead us into direct confrontation with the narrative of racial difference.  We must open our eyes to the uncomfortable racial hierarchy that has been the basis for the structure of our entire society.  We must wake up to the ways that the narrative of racial difference played a major role in identity formation in the early days of our country, and to the ways it continues to play a dominant role in our sense of identity here and now.  

One of the primary issues we must face, especially in this socio-political climate, is the need for white people to do the hard work of wrestling with what it really means to be white.  

This points to one of the core messages of White Awake (by Daniel Hill); the poisonous impact of the narrative of racial difference does not land solely on people of color.  The narrative of racial difference has also profoundly affected white people.  But unlike people of color, most white people remain completely unaware of the ways this narrative has affected their sense of identity."

-Dr. Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil (wrote Forward to White Awake: an honest look at what it means to be white by Daniel Hill.)

This weekend I read through the forward and the first two chapters of Hill's book, White Awake.  To my white friends who are trying better to understand what is happening around race in our country, I urge you to order this book and embark on a journey.  It will be a journey that will interrogate what you've grown up believing about racial difference.  It will be a journey that leads to transformation by the renewing of your mind.  It will be a journey that is necessary for the healing and liberation of ourselves and our neighbor.