Why are you here? It is an ambiguous statement because it relates to both your ultimate existence and life here on this earth, but it could also be a question in reference to a contextual situation. While existential questions are important, today I am interested in a less cosmic question: Why did you decide to come “here”, as in join the State of Formation community?
This is a critical question for us to ask each other and ourselves as emerging religious leaders, dedicated to lead in a religiously pluralistic setting. I want to know why each of you has come here, because when we share the diverse reasons of our coming to this community, our journeys forward individually and collectively can be paved with greater direction, collegiality, and purpose. Our journeys are diverse, but they all brought us here. Remember, we are not just here, but here together. Let’s start a conversation and get to know a little bit more about why we are all here. I will kick it off:
I am here because I believe the world is in desperate need of a new generation of social leaders that can traverse the complex challenges of an increasingly complex world. However, to do this, I believe as a religious leader, I need to develop a capacity for engagement with religious leaders and traditions other than my own. State of Formation creates a space for me to journey with other emerging leaders from a variety of backgrounds and pursuing many different career paths. Together, we are learning to lead communities in a diversity of ways. I don’t expect us all to agree on everything regarding theology, ethics, social transformation, and justice, but I do believe that coming together here will enhance our overall discernment on the ultimate question, “Why are we Here?”, and then focus together on another important question, “Now, where are we going?”
I am here for these reasons and others, but why are You here?
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