The Winter 2022 edition of Occasional Papers focuses on “The Unknown: A Place of Potential and Possibility.” This issue attempts to provide inspiration and hope as we live in this period where virtually everything feels uncertain and unknown. How might we live and lead non-anxiously at a time when so much of what we might have once assumed would be certain and unchanging is slowly disappearing and while what is ahead is beyond our knowing? What is changing encompasses so much of our lives as we see institutions we thought stable and enduring lose credibility and concepts and constructs that have guided our lives called into question. .
While living into the unknown can be extremely challenging – especially for those tasked with leadership -- this edition of Occasional Papers addresses this reality from a stance of possibility and potential. Can we think of dwelling in the unknown as an opportunity to develop greater wisdom? Can being in the unknown be an experience of freedom that takes us out of our normal ways of perceiving and leads us to new ways? Can not-knowing lead us to paths we may never have chosen to explore when we thought we had answers?
Among the highlights of this issue is an interview with teacher and writer Rabbi Ariel Burger, reflections from leaders who have delved into the realm of the unknown with their religious communities, and insights from several young, culturally-diverse women religious.
- Dwelling in Possibility - Pat McDermott, RSM writes on leading through uncharted waters
- Resisting the Temptation of a Definitive Answer - Rabbi Ariel Burger in an interview shares about exercising spiritual leadership from a stance of not-knowing
- Learning to Lead from the Inside Out - Nancy Conway, CSJ shares wisdom gained while leading through a period of significant congregational change
- Questions to Carry - Barbara Valuckas, SSND offers insights on the power and potential of penetrating questions
- Leaders as Healers 101 - Vicky Larson, PBVM explores what leaders can learn from healing ministries when dealing with the unknown
- Integrating Our Ways of Knowing - Teresa Maya, CCVI shares how various cultural understandings of "knowing" can help leaders in a period of uncertainty
- Staying Grounded -
- Barbara Flores, SCN writes of what she learned as a religious life leader during the pandemic
- Walking the Fog-Laden Path - Cathy Mueller, SL describes the experience of leading a community through the unknown
- 'Keep Room in Your Heart for the Unimaginable' - Claire Sokol, OCD shares about the journey into the unknown for contemplative communities
- Living Peacefully With Complex Unanswerable Questions - Four young women religious share how they live with uncertainty
- 'Gather the Fragments So That Nothing is Lost' - Catherine Bertrand, SSND writes on the importance of giving attention to the whole of religious communities
Orders must be placed by December 21, 2021 and copies will be mailed in January 2022.
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