I have been invited to serve as the intellectual architect for a retreat sponsored by Trinity Church and Trinity Publishing, in honor of the 20th anniversary of their launch of Spirituality and Health Magazine. The program will bring together 30 select religious leaders/influentials from around the country, drawn from the Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist traditions. They lead major churches, seminaries, are authors and/or broadcasters, and all maintain an active role in the larger American religious landscape.
The theme, chosen by the S and H leadership team will be: What Does Mature Religious Identity Look Like In The 21st Century? I am especially interested, not only in their definitions of that identity, but in how they see their role in nurturing that kind of identity, especially when the fastest growing religious category in the US is the “nones”, which is not the same as atheist or agnostic, categories whose size is actually quite stable. I am also interested in how they imagine we should relate to those who fall outside our chosen definitions of “mature”.
We will be exploring these and other questions with a combination of scenario planning, personal narrative, and futuring methodologies — with special attention to where these approaches can help participants see things in new and unanticipated ways. The team has met twice and will meet twice more before the event is held in October at the Trinity Retreat Center in West Cornwall CT.