First, by way of introduction, I am the board chair of a not for profit group called "Seeing Things Whole". Bob Wahlstedt, is a colleague of mine on the board and a friend of Speaking of Faith. I know that Bob has mentioned us to Krista, but I want to take the opportunity to say a few words about what we are doing because I think that it is particularly important at this time.
As our vision statement says, "we envision a world made better through organizations whose lives and performance are informed as much by faith and moral reasoning as by the press of economic reality". I heard similar words from Vigan Guroian in a recent interview. At our best, we collaborate with organizations and their leaders to see their work and their challenges in a larger context of meaning and possibility. We currently engage 12 organizations, 6 in the Twin Cities and 6 in the Boston area, where organizations hold each other in trust around the real world challenges facing each organization. We try to create a space where a conversation of moral reasoning and business challenge can be laid side by side, each informing the other in the process. In addition to the obvious learning by the participating organizationas, we then partner with business schools, theological schools and religious communities to explore the theological and economic implications of seeking to more intentionally live in this intersection of faith and organizational life.
I do believe that we are in the midst of both a moral and spiritual crisis. In order to emerge from this malaise, we will need to develop a new sense of trust in organizations (particularly government & businesses). This means "business as usual" must change. We need organizational leaders to lead from virtue, we need organizations that are focussed on multiple bottom lines, we need college graduates who are learning a way of "thinking broadly", and we need religious congregations that are exploring this intersection of faith and economic reality to support congregants in the work world in which they live.
So what are we doing for each other to bring this about? I've already mentioned the roundtables. In addition, a group of colleagues at The University of St. Thomas are preparing a series of case studies where moral imagination intersects real world issues. Both St Thomas & Augsburg College are laying liberal arts, faith and business side by side in courses such as faith and entrepreneurship and a capstone course on faith and business. Augsburg College is integrating the "seeing things whole " model into it's keystone course in the Master of Arts in Leadership program. We are working closely with the United Church of Christ in Norwell, MA and the Incarnation Lutheran Church in the Twin Cities to develop a new model of holding up the ministry of the laity.
There is more to say, but I think that I have made this email long enough. We are a very limited budget organization doing as much as we can during this crisis to in some small way, help us to begin to "repossess virtue" which this country (and the world) so badly need.
Thank you for the opportunity to share our work with you.
Best regards,Ed Mosel
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