Theme: Servant Leadership and the Great Emergence:
The Spirit’s Call to Evolve
Co-Creation 2012 was a conference held April 12—15, 2012, which featured cutting-edge speakers and writers on contemporary Christian spirituality. This conference was held against the background of “Sacred Space for the City: A Celebration of Arts and Spirit,” a four day festival that offered outstanding concerts, art-walks, labyrinth-walks and other cultural events in a unique area on the north side of downtown Greensboro, NC, calling forth and manifesting the Spirit of Co-Creation.
The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro in collaboration with Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church (two large urban churches) along with partners FaithAction International and Temple Emanuel on Greene Street invited theologians, artists, musicians, nonprofits, and churches to come together to explore transformative leadership to help shape our future in accordance with God’s dream.
The events provided a sacred space where people can slow down and, through the art, music and presentations, connect to something deeper within themselves and one another.
The sacred space is where we came together to “respond” to the spirit’s call to evolve.
The current leadership style of dominance and control has collectively created results nobody wants-and we gathered together at Co-Creation 2012 to nurture Judeo-Christian leadership which brings renewal to our churches, creates life-affirming alternatives in the workplace and home, and calls forth creative new leadership to serve our local community and to shape our future.
The World’s Dilemna
Our world is on an unsustainable path. Scientists warn that we are rapidly approaching dangerous tipping points after which life as we know it will be irreversibly changed. Climate change, AIDS, hunger, poverty, economic collapse, and global terrorism are present in our everyday lives.
These times call for a new consciousness and a new collective leadership to meet these realities in a more faithful, intentional and compassionate way.
The Missing Piece
During these challenging times, the church is being called to prepare servant leaders to follow Jesus Christ and serve God’s dream for a transformed world.
How might we, as people of faith, tap into our collective wisdom and respond to the challenges of our times? How do we develop our spiritual capacity to meet these challenges in a more conscious, intentional and spiritual manner? Our times call for a new kind of leadership. How is this leadership embodied in communities of faith?
A Turning Point
As Bishop Bennett Sims wrote in Servanthood: Leadership for the Third Millennium, we are currently living on a “hinge of history, a vast turning point in the evolution of human consciousness the likes of which we have not seen in thousands of years... a time of both great peril and great promise.” Once again, as has been the case throughout history, people of faith are hearing and responding to “the Spirit’s call to evolve.”
Co-Creation 2012 Voices
“Strange as it may seem in this time of cultural anxiety, economic near collapse, terrorist fear, political violence, environmental crisis, and partisan anger, I believe that the United States is caught up in the throes of a spiritual awakening, a period of sustained relgious and political transformation during which our ways of seeing the world, understanding ourselves, and expressing faith are being, to borrow a phrase ‘born again.’” Diana Butler Bass in her new book Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (coming out in 2012)
“If we disbelieve the dominant societal system, and if we transfer our trust from its covert curriculum and framing story to the good news of Jesus, a radical and transforming hope begins to happen to us.” Brian McLaren in Everything Must Change
“The great returning of Christianity ... back towards what Jesus preached: a beloved and beloving community, a way of life practiced in the world, a profound trust in God that eagerly anticipates God’s reign of mercy and justice.” Diana Butler Bass in Christianity After Religion