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Launch & Lead Pacific Northwest Cohort
by Diane Rheos

The Launch & Lead Pacific Northwest cohort completed our two year Launch & Lead program with a retreat this November which was a celebration and affirmation. We reflected on our time; the things that will stay with us and continue to guide us, how we have been transformed, and what has supported us.

Most important to us was the value we received from being in our cohort community. Most of us have found ourselves “on the fringes” in some way, outside of the norm. Thinking in ways that at times feels crazy, weird, unusual—taking actions that might be seen as crazy, weird, unusual.

We acknowledged that nothing has been more important to working on the fringes for social change than having a network of community woven around us telling us why we should continue on the journey. Traveling along side-by-side. Telling us that it’s all worth it. Being on the fringes can feel like a lonely place, a hard and confusing place.

The four-fold practice of showing up, paying attention, participating with God, and letting go of the outcome can be complex. We have been participating and leading experiments that do well, fail, don’t take off, or move in unexpected directions. Our cohort community has been there to share in celebration and ask reflective questions to help us see what is happening to us in new ways.

There isn’t a better thing to carry with us than to believe that each action we take matters. They matter to those around us, and they matter to God. We aren’t wasting our time even when we don’t see results. Our cohort has had the experience of belonging in beloved community. In this place we know that we are not alone and that helps us continue to participate with God in the unfolding.

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative
change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.