Holy Currencies

his week the struggles of the world to cope with changing political, economic, and climate forces has come into stark focus.  From the bombing of the airport in Istanbul to the reactions to Brexit to the nonstop coverage of personal attacks in the presidential election in the U.S., peoples the world over are seeking to claim identity, provide for themselves and their families, and to adjust to global economic forces that have left them poorer and desperate. 
There is a great stuckness in our common life as we have lost the skills to listen effectively, to risk relationships, and to agree to disagree and compromise.  The lack of love and exchange is palpable.
Two Saturdays ago I had the privilege of attending a training event on Holy Currencies with Randall Lamb, Carvel Glenn, John Cornwell, Ryan Hawthorne, Mary Cole, Lisa Levy and Rich White.  We were joined by teams from three other Episcopal congregations as we reflected on our sustainable and missional ministry.  How can the church thrive and reach out to the world around us and not fall into survival mode and thinking?
Eric Law, the facilitator of the training, suggests that a way forward is to allow ourselves to frame our life together as a circle of blessing.  In this cycle there is a flow of the holy currencies of gracious leadership, relationships, truth, wellness, money and time and space.  Growth and development can only happen as we exchange these values rather than hoarding or grasping.
I believe that we can’t ask of others what we are not willing to do ourselves. While our city, state, nation, and world may struggle with how to create a sustainable model of life together we can only begin and control what we do locally.  We must begin with ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods.  The cycle of blessing is among us now.
Over the next year we will be utilizing this framework to develop our capacity and assets to exchange each of these currencies.  You will be learning more later as I do too!