Transformation doesn’t happen in a linear way. It happens in cycles, convergences, explosions. If we release the framework of failure, we can realize that we are in iterative cycles, and we can keep asking ourselves—how do I learn from this?
From Emergent Strategy by adrienne marie brown
This month we explore the third word in the new OUUC vision of a loving, just and healthy world. What does it mean to be healthy? For people, for a community, for a nation or the world?
Perhaps it’s not surprising that “healthy” would be part of a vision developed and adopted in the middle of a global pandemic. Health has been on our collective minds a lot these past 21 months: our health and that of our loved ones, the health of our society, of our democracy, the health of our economy and our natural world. Each of these had been challenged significantly and continues to be.
What does it mean to be healthy? In the November 14 service, I offered the definition of health from the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”
For individuals, a healthful lifestyle provides the means to lead a full life with meaning and purpose. For a community, society or the world, health also means physical well-being, meaning that the environment is healthy. It means social well-being, meaning that society is just, compassionate, and equitable. It means creating safe neighborhoods and affordable housing, broadening job opportunities and reducing income inequality, designing walkable towns and fostering community cohesion. It means that everyone’s basic needs are met and that there is a way to involve everyone in decision-making.
This Sunday I will speak about what it means to be a healthy congregation and why it is important. A congregation is a collective of individuals and so much more than that; as a system, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As we envision a world that is healthy and work to make it so, we can start with creating a congregation that is healthy. This is work we do as we learn and grow together.
Blessings on your week.