Everybody thinks empathy is a good thing, right? Most of us face a challenge, though. We think empathy is a good thing. We want to practice it, especially with those who are closest to us, but find ourselves at a loss in those moments when it doesn’t happen spontaneously.
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Words from the Keynote Speakers, Randy Evans and Shelley Webb
One of the great delights of working for the Missional Wisdom Foundation has been discovering the network of amazing people and organizations connected to the foundation. During the National Gathering we sought to connect people with each other based on their gifts. First, we had people write on cards their gifts, skills, and passions. These were placed on a wall so others could see this amazing portrait of our Dispersed Community's assets.
You know how sometimes those informal conversations that pop up around the refreshment table or informally in the parking lot are actually the best part of the whole conference?
Hospitality is not just a kind smile or nice refreshments, though those are certainly important. It’s not glamorous most of the time—like putting enough paper towels in the restroom. More often hospitality is noticed by its lack than its presence. How do we create a space in which people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves and are an integral part of what happens there—that each item is provided for you, individually, as well as for the community?
We made several significant changes to Launch & Lead during our redesign a few years ago. We were particularly excited about the possibilities created by hosting all fall and spring workshops at the same time and place. This meant that everyone participating in Launch & Lead would have the opportunity to meet and connect with everyone else, regardless of where they are in the process.
The dishes have dried. The crumbs and snippets of yarn have been swept up. The sticky notes have been tabulated. National Gathering 2019 is a snapshot; taken, shared, and finished. In that moment, at that place, we were the Missional Wisdom Foundation, gathered.
What happens when you gather a roomful of people who share a vision for Christian community, building bridges between peoples, and spiritual renewal? Potentially—anything!
One thing that is very clear: it is important to all of us that we connect to our communities and celebrate the relationships that are formed through these connections.
by Stephanie McKellar
November 2 - 4, 2017, the newly re-formatted Launch & Lead cohort met in Winchester, Virginia for our first gathering together, the Foundations Workshop.
We begin with spiritual direction, in the safe space of the Rotunda; we are hosted in our weekend by Shenandoah University. Matt Johnson welcomes us to the space with an abundance of spiritual tools to facilitate our spiritual practice.