Like many others, we have been thinking about how we can take the learning, connections and inspiration from the New Story Summit forward. Having digested the elements of learning to do with conference process, Debbie Warrener (who ran our summit hub), myself and others at St Ethelburga’s will be offering a post-NSS experiment. Our aim is to bring people together to harvest what we have learned about designing emergent process.
Wednesday night marked the first instalment of our Re-awakening the Sacred series, the second year St Ethelburga’s has run the programme. The series is a journey exploring how we can connect with a shared sense of meaning and reverence for life in times of crisis and transition, and how we can bring the sacred back into our daily lives in all areas and disciplines.
I’ve just returned from the New Story Summit - a long overdue gathering of those involved in the global grassroots movement for systemic change. We came from all over the world, over 350 people from the fields of peacemaking, new economics, ecology, organisational change, community building, evolutionary biology and the arts.
It is difficult to find the words to describe how horrific and tragic the last few months have been for global conflict, destruction, pain, and collective human suffering as we have watched regions collapse right before our eyes. We have seen communities turn against each other, both abroad and here at home in the heart of London. Identities have hardened, antisemitism and islamophobia have increased.
Andrea Paul and Sanat Misra write:
Today marks the centenary of the First World War. On the 4th of August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany after the latter rejected an ultimatum to leave Belgium by midnight on Monday (August 3rd). The war was expected to be a short affair, “over by Christmas”, and thousands of British men had volunteered to fight. But, after 20,000 deaths in the first two weeks, expectations had to be revised.
It is somewhat surreal sitting in a café in North London writing this last journal letter about an incredible year. It seems about five years ago we were sitting in Woodbrooke during our induction last August, and yet it could also be five minutes. This letter contains reflections on my experiences, emerging thoughts about the nature of peace and my next steps over the coming year!
Sara Yasmin Anwar writes: "Being a centre that is open to the public means that no two days are ever the same as you never know who could walk through the doors. Today was no exception. We were visited by two older men who had travelled from outside of London just to visit the centre and not just because it’s the oldest standing holy relic in London but because Jolyon, one of the visitors, had a special connection to the centre he was christened here, back in 1947!
Justine Huxley writes: "I've just returned from four days in Oxfordshire where I had the privilege to take part in the Call of the Time programme. Call of the Time brings professionals in areas of global influence together, to look more closely at the spiritual dimensions of transformation in relation to major issues of world concern. This year the organisers (who include Peter Senge the dialogue pioneer) took the brave decision that instead of dialogue, the programme would be focused around 48 hours of silence.