Excerpt from Generation Y, Spirituality and Social Change edited by Dr Justine Huxley (launch date 7th and 9th March 2019)
Working with the younger generation at St Ethelburga’s has been about shifting from talking to doing. For me, this is the most important and refreshing quality of Generation Y and at the heart of this collection of stories – an uncomplicated readiness to walk the talk, out there in the messy, complex, screwed-up world.
St Ethelburga’s, and the interfaith initiatives that sprang up everywhere after 9/11 and 7/7, focused on forming relationships across traditions, being with our differences, shifting from debate to participatory dialogue. We sat in circles, listening to each other’s stories, slowly, often painfully, forging a path from competition to collaboration, from separation to co-creation. When the millennials showed up, we took a leap forward into acting together – boldly, without inhibition.
Their worldview is based not just in ecological interconnectedness or systems thinking, but also – of particular relevance to spirituality – in the relationship between inner and outer. Regenerative activism recognises that we cannot create a harmonious, connected world with aggressive, dualistic methodologies. Equally, we cannot build a sustainable world with unsustainable approaches. Standing Rock, the women’s marches that swept the world after the election of Trump, the Black Lives Matter movement – all point towards the emergence of a new form of activism that includes an inner dimension, whether through an explicit relationship with spirituality, a commitment to self-care, or an acknowledgement that our inner psychology plays out through our actions.
Young activists live out their spiritual values in activism, and also attend to their spiritual lives in order to sustain their activism. These are change-makers intent both on ‘being the change’ and on resourcing themselves for the long haul. For them, action and spirituality are one.
Join us for the book launch on Thursday 7th March and the conference on Saturday 9th March.