“It turns out that the things we've been taught to pursue — money, status, power, fame, and sex appeal—are not only unworthy of us, but driving us to hurt ourselves, oppress each other, and damage our world. In ever-larger numbers, we see the lie and its toxicity, as we reject insufficient and untrustworthy systems, and despair at a culture of isolation and injustice.”Tweet It!
This passage comes from “Care of Souls”, a capstone report written by Casper ter Kuile, Angie Thurston, and Rev. Sue Phillips — a group of Ministry Innovation Fellows at the Harvard Divinity School — with support from The Fetzer Institute and On Being. Over the course of four years, these fellows traveled around the U.S. to understand the loneliness, isolation and division that plague so many in the digital age. The report caps off their research and illustrates seven innovative community leadership roles that they feel are needed now.
The seven roles are:
The Gatherer — Forms communities of meaning and depth
The Seer — Helps us approach the sacred
The Healer — Breaks cycles of violence
The Steward — Creates the infrastructure for spiritual life
The Elder — Grounds our gifts in history and community
The Venturer — Invests in creative ways to support human flourishing
The Maker — Reminds us how to be human
According to the authors:
“These are the new interpreters of ancient wisdom, sanctifiers of daily life, and speakers to the deepest ground of our being. They do the project of being human in a different way. They solve for social and spiritual disconnection, and provide others with permission and resources to do the same. To know them is to know courage and imagination.
Perhaps you know them. Perhaps you are one of them.
If you can’t see them, it’s because they belong to a future that is only just emerging. The categories they belong to don’t yet exist.”
In the report, the authors detail why each role is important and the pitfalls that a person or organization in this role will need to avoid. For instance, the Seer will need to avoid “guru-syndrome” while the Steward will need to understand the importance of traditions and ancient practices while also imagining and testing new ones.
It’s a truly profound piece and was one of a handful of resources we curated for our members this month.
P.S. Thank you to Holstee community members Danya and Nick for sharing this report with me!
Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.
A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.
✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.
“I’m in the midst of big life transitions at the moment, chasing book deals, relocating, taking risks, carving out a life that feels honest, so your emails have been a perfectly timed source of inspiration and reassurance.” Jo in London, Great Britain
"Love the emails! They are a great reset or what I would call mindful chiropractic adjustment to approaching the day. Thank you!" Laurie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I love the emails. They give me a new perspective and things to think about and apply in my life." Monica in Johannesburg, South Africa
"It's food for the soul and sets my spiritual compass in the right direction." Farahdiva Samsul in Assam, India
"Absolutely LOVE the daily emails. One of the only email subscriptions I read daily. Keep them coming!!" Adriana in New York, New York
"The emails are thought-provoking and uplifting. A little pause from the crazy happenings of modern life. A quick chance to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully." Pharan in Queensland, Australia
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mindfully Mailed series. Daily I await this little nugget of goodness to hit my inbox each day." Tambria in Shreveport, Louisiana
Welcome to Holstee
Living with intention is an ongoing practice, not a destination. Inspired by this, we’ve created a range of products to help you on your journey to live both fully and mindfully, including the Holstee Membership, Reflection Cards, and our recently-launched Reflection.app.
This article is part of our series on the theme of Compassion.EXPLORE Compassion →
Inspiration and tools to help you live a more meaningful life.VISIT THE SHOP →