My work with State of Formation is exhilarating, mainly because it is built upon a beautiful model of emerging leaders empowering emerging leaders. We are an interreligious vocal minority rising to the pluralistic demands of our globalized society. And my work, as humbly as I walk, is to help recruit, inspire, enhance, and further the mission of preparing religious and ethical leaders for various vocations in society. I had a phenomenal conversation with Honna Eichler, the Managing Director of State of Formation, about a week ago regarding some exciting ideas we have about enhancing the overall aesthetic of our work, by not only providing better resources for our contributing scholars, but to more widely present these leaders to the world. Because I think when it comes down to it, at least it is true in my UU tradition, we are doing some theologically progressive work at State of Formation. Literally, our work is progressing an affirmation that these emerging leaders have something profound to share with the world, what one in the Abrahamic traditions may even call prophetic.
Every post that is published on our website is a testament to an unfolding newer testament of interreligious leadership of which we are all co-writers. These posts are sacred texts in my mind. They are not absolute truth, but neither is any religious text in my estimation. And yet they hold spiritual truth and validity to at least the writer and perhaps one or more readers. One article stood out to me this week, written by a new contributing scholar and a longtime friend that I knew from DePaul University interfaith work. She is an independent earth spiritualist and struggles at times considering how to conform her more individualized religious experience, practice, and formation to the more communal religious traditions that surround her in the United States. But, she wrote a profound article on why she decided to join this community of emerging leaders and what formation means to her in her “earthy” perspective. The highlight was when she wrote:
This is an immanent world, where power, purpose, and love are manifested in nature -- not the "nature" that we go out to visit on the occasional camping trip, but the nature which constitutes our humanity. It's our biosphere identity, and beyond, to identify with the universe: we are beings of this world. We participate in its unfolding, and we are a piece of its reality.
To me this is a beautiful articulation of our interconnectedness in formation, transformation, and collective prophetic leadership in the world. There are new prophets emerging in the world every day. Our goal must be to help religious communities be open to welcoming in the new and renewed visions and directions of these leaders. It is a blessing to work with these people, all of you, and I know that this year will continue to unfold in harmonious and prophetic ways.
Associate Director, State of Formation
Hello! My name is Nicolas Cable and this fall I will enter my second year of he Master of Divinity program at Chicago Theological Seminary. I am a Unitarian Universalist, interfaith leader, and socially engaged citizen. I seek ordination as a congregational ministry and hope my ministry can be a progressive light of justice and peace in the world.