Going Together: Sustaining Transformation for the next 100 Years

Dear friends

Those of you who have been journeying with us over the past year or so will be familiar with the invitation that has become a core pillar for us as we seek to align ourselves to the Spirit’s movements in the world: “Go far, go slow, go together”. 

Over the past few months, we have curated a trilogy of newsletters (of which this is the last in the series) seeking to delve a little deeper into what each of these invitations actually means for us in our work – as The Warehouse staff team, yes, but even more significantly as the wider collective, of which we are just a small part, of those faithfully trying to work out what it means to live out God’s peace and justice for the world.

Much of this is rooted in the recognition that building the world we would like to see is not a short-term commitment. It is something that we will be working towards for the entirety of our lifetimes. Such an orientation defies the logic of a world governed by 5-year election cycles and holds instead to a vision for 100 years. A vision for a world that will outlive us.

This kind of a vision liberates us from falling into what Emmanuel Katongole terms “prescriptive haste” – the tendency to provide symptomatic solutions before really understanding the problem we seek to address. Instead, it invites us into a slowing down in order to assess what is really going on. And from this place, we can work collectively to heal the roots of the issues our world is facing, so that perhaps future generations may be born to a world in which “everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees for there will no longer be anything to fear” (Micah 4:4).

Working collectively is central to this vision. No individual, or entity, or sector can do this work alone. If there is one thing that a 100-year vision will teach you, it is humility. We each see in part, and the radical transformation that we hope for requires seeing all of the parts. And because of this, we have to do this work together. While this commitment can be hard for those who are used to getting places fast, if we allow it, it can be a source of immeasurable strength. 

The collective upon whose strength and wisdom we get to draw is vast and abundantly resourced. It is present within our geographical spaces, if only we do the work of finding it and building together. It is present across time and space – in the great cloud of witnesses gone before, cheering us on, and the great cloud of witnesses to come, to whom we will pass the baton. It is present across faith traditions, beliefs, and historical moments – we draw on those who have stood up against injustice and nurtured visions of shalom across generations. This collective stretches even beyond humanity itself if we can open ourselves up to receive the manifold wisdoms of the cosmos – the whole of which is included in God’s salvation plan*.

We are grateful that we do not do this work alone. We are grateful that we get to do it together. Grace and strength to us all as we continue to work out what this should look like in our various contexts. 

With love,

*The beginning of John 3:16 is most faithfully translated as “For God so loved the cosmos…”

Read the rest of the newsletter here