Leadership & Justice: These two words are central touchstones that connect me to St. Andrew’s College’s mission. For those new to the A Deacon’s Musing community, I have recently had the exciting honour to assume the role as the new principal of the college. There are many facets to the role, many (perhaps most) of which I am just beginning to fully appreciate. The depth and scope of the role is inspiring, challenging, daunting and – ultimately – life-giving. It is truly a gift to be able to wake each day knowing that I have joined a team that are working to change the world!
Leadership & Justice: As I return to the discipline and practice of blogging in this new role, I queried the readers and seekers in the community about how they connect these two touchstones. For the many conversations, through various media, I am most grateful. The conversations in their richness of those conversations, whether in Private Message or publicly, via such platforms as twitter, has me thinking deeply and musing imaginatively.
Leadership & Justice: As these conversations have unfolded and as I recognise the tangents I have followed, I was aware that these two values might inform a new leadership blog series. I have written many times about leadership and have already completed one entire series on the subject. Though some of my current musings likely complement those previous explorations, it has become clear that leadership and justice require more space than a normal blog might allow. As such, I believe this series will likely unfold in at least four parts.
Leadership & Justice: The first part of the series is this initial blog. Hopefully, it will provide some context for what follows and will conclude with naming some assumptions. The second in the series will explore leadership and some of the nuances that impact the nurturing and preparing of leaders in the context of living and leading in faith communities generally, and specifically within The United Church of Canada. The third musing will unpack justice from an expansive Christian perspective. Finally (at the moment of the writing of this initial blog), we will discuss the manner in which the two touchstones connect and inform one another as conversation partners.
Leadership & Justice: These words invoke multiple images and meanings. Based on one’s social location – education, gender identity, sexual identity, vocation, family of origin, to name only a few factors – it can easily lead to assumptions that can obscure connexions that might be established in respect to a larger shared conversation. So, I thought it might make sense to simply list, as a way to draw this first conversation to an end, a few of the assumptions I have that underlie this new series:
Leadership is facilitative;
Leadership is modelling;
Leadership is prophetic;
Leadership is relational;
Leadership endeavours to be collaborative;
Leadership endeavours to be conciliar;
Leadership occurs in community;
Leadership occurs in a faith-based context;
Leadership occurs in a pastoral relationship;
Leadership requires a commitment to life-long learning; and,
Leadership requires a commitment to self-knowing & exploration.
Justice is aspirational;
Justice is communal;
Justice is financial;
Justice is divinely mandated;
Justice is equitable;
Justice is political;
Justice is soul-work;
Justice is a reflexive practice;
Justice is an unfolding practice; and,
Justice recognises and names oppression.
As we pause in this first part of our conversation, I invite you to consider these assumptions.