“Bringing about the world we want to live in, the world we want to leave to our children is, substantially, the work of the imagination, or what educational reformer John Dewey describes as ‘the ability to look at things as if they could be otherwise’.”
— Rob Hopkins
Given the realities with which we live today — increasing inequality, climate change, political tensions, and racial uprisings — imagination is urgent and necessary in moving us toward the world we want to leave to our children. Yet it is often difficult to articulate our own yearning and desire for the new in the face of the anxiety, hurdles and potholes on the way to creating something hoped-for. What can help us to unlock our imaginations and unleash our creativity are companions on the journey; practices in community; wisdom from our faith traditions; and questions that evoke new and unexpected paths.
We invite you to join a co-learning community of practice to engage your imagination, to take the journey from acknowledging “what is …” to imagining “what if…” Our time together will draw upon the work of Rob Hopkins, writer, environmental activist, and founder of the Transition movement, and others who inspire moral and ecological imagination, and will be guided by a series of spiritually-based practices. We will support one another in imagining projects or endeavors that will aim to spark the imaginations of others in our communities.
Meeting together virtually for six 90-minute sessions, we will work around the Imagination Sundial, developed by Rob Hopkins. During these sessions, we will engage in practices intended to build our imagination muscle — like an exercise class for your imagination! On weeks when we are not gathering via Zoom, participants may explore curated writings, podcasts, and other materials as a way of deepening understanding of the concepts and ideas related to opening to new possibilities. Additionally, the facilitators will also offer individual or team coaching as participants consider how to apply these ideas to their own communities.
Do you have a seed of an idea you’ve dreamed that would help build community, start a conversation, even help others unlock their imaginations? How about a tool lending library for that infrequently needed but so helpful equipment? A multigenerational storytelling night? A community garden of raised beds in an unused part of your parking lot? What about a four-season labyrinth that highlights the connections between our seasons and climate change? Or a playful, monthly coffee hour that gives adults a change to play? Or community dinners highlighting the benefits of eating lower on the food chain?
Through shared readings and materials, conversation in group sessions, and a series of practices designed to inspire thinking and stretch imagination, participants will be led to ask different questions relevant to their own contexts.
During the course of the program, participants will have the opportunity to apply for a generous micro-grant from The BTS Center that would support the manifestation of their idea for unlocking imagination in their congregations / communities.