Annual Appraisal 2014/15 – Reflections

• A small group gathered one by one over the first two hours, making sticking to an agenda difficult. But one way and another we tackled a number of aspects of our work. We were not widely representative of the CCMJ list. This assessment of general CCMJ activity is offered and accompanied by 4 attachments.
• On June 6th we ran through the Appraisal report [attached] that had been prepared identifying the breadth of engagements throughout our network as we all try to further the application of theological wisdom to the contemporary scene.
• The website is felt to be an important tool and a great deal of work has recently been done on it. Please review it and comment on its usefulness and accessibility. Given the geographic spread of our association, it was felt to be a vital tool of engagement. In this your suggestions and contributions will be welcomed and you will be able to have an account to report your own work directly.
• There is an overlapping distinction between CCMJ, its Open Table, the specific action-oriented 2015Consitutionalists initiative and Critical Thinking; and thence with others stated in the Appraisal paper with which our survey started. There are CCMJ associates involved in all these evolving explorations and applications – collaborative ACTION being a key motivator.
• Within our discussions and including submissions from those not able to attend these descriptive and analytical points are offered for consideration in the year ahead ………

[NB. ‘COMPANIONSHIP OF EMPOWERMENT’ is the universalist Aramaic provenance of that phrase!].
Theological resonance is found in our collaborative initiative of 2015 Constitutionalists of …with hints of scriptural association in italics…………….
– Money, land, and the right to livelihood [fundamentals of the cry for justice permeating the Old Testament – and nurtured in the concept of the KofG in the NT]
– Covenant of gift and trusteeship – [relating to everything under the rainbow]
– Inclusive justice [Micah on morality, integrity and justice]
– Non-violence [that unique challenge to ‘Love your enemies’]
– Non- Partisan/Inclusive [Jonah on responsibility beyond our borders. Various Epistles ]
– Identity and dignity of each and every life. [2 Cor.4. 13 -5.1 & Mark 3. 20-end a HV sermon of 7-6-15 Families: not as tightly defined as we fancy – Hugh Valentine Text | Audio ]
– The flow of the generations – [eternity and cosmic references.]
– The synchronicity and oscillation between dynamic creativity, human trusteeship and the binding energy sustaining natural coherence [Trinity, Quantum Theology, Natural Inclusion, Steady State and Replenishable resources , Not-two is Peace etc. and our associate authors Primavesi and O’Murchu]
– Prior Communion and Unity [Bk of Job 38 – the cosmic panentheistic presence of ‘God’ long before humanity. see The Steady State article 6-6-15 – a biologists cell in current conversation ]
In the process that has been termed ‘principled pragmatism’, there is an attempt to shape these elements into a pattern of communal governance, just trading and attentive service as components of the genuine economic or housekeeping process. We sum it up as a PEOPLES POLITICAL ECONOMY OF TRUSTESSHIP SET IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION

2. THE SHEETS DISPLAYED ON THE WALL highlighted many summaries of various group dialogues in which CCMJ has engaged. They can represent tools for communication with various individuals or groups as we reach out in our own localities. On June 6th we concentrated on the systemic image of ‘From House to Home’, a diagrammatic representation of the requirement for systemic change and some evolving proposals for outcome attached. This is a one page systemic ‘image’ of the many aspects of governance and service in a complex community, to be held in mind even as its various parts are further understood and tackled. We revisited the distinction between organisation and association, as between church and chaplaincy, reminding us of the decision taken two years ago that CCMJ was a mode of chaplaincy in association, enabling each other to grasp the nettle of pursuing systemic change from usury deep into the whole political economy [? kingdom of God].


A] Present an image before it’s dissected section by section,
B] taken ideas frame by frame to keep on the subject line
C] Be useful for recall
D] Advance the case step by step and returning after a diversion [positive or not]
Our various associated groups have a number of PowerPoint presentations which we’ll try to make available on the CCMJ and 2015C sites as appropriate

– Knowing:  that ‘Thinking is Action’ in which we must all partake – reconciliatory dialogue.
– Holding: one’s conviction tentatively – valuing boundaries and yet keeping them permeable,
– Throwing:  out dogma, but not ignoring any poetry or wisdom that inspired it.
– Holding:  high tolerance for ambiguity – welcoming newcomers at their point of entry.
– Remembering:  that ‘Fragility is mark of value; that which is not fragile is pretentious’.
– Remembering: that Reality lies in the second glance; after you’ve dealt with prejudice in the first.’
– Acknowledging: Natural Inclusion – Prior Communion/Unity – checking one’s tribalism and egotism
– Understanding: Servant Leadership – the humble skill of education
– Seeking: progress towards a goal, not minding who gets the credit
– Acknowledging:
‘power-with’ to replace ‘power-over’ in a genuine & inclusive democracy
acting together in mutual accountability, a one-minute introduction to the July 11th public discussion:

6. ECOLOGICAL LITERACY is a vital aspect of applied theology and of our witness. Eco-literacy demands that we consider ecological systems and an awareness of how society operates within natural imperatives as an educational staple. In a seminal book Ecological Literacy (1992) David Orr explains that by failing to include ecological perspectives in education, students are taught that ecology is unimportant. The concept of ‘ecological or systemic literacy’ defined in the 1990s created a new emphasis on the need for education to impart an understanding the interdependences between natural processes and human ways of living. A new value entered education; the “well-being of the earth”.

Sustainability- or better – replenishibility is a qualitative and quantitative condition; demonstrating the human capacity to survive over time. It is qualitative in that we want well-being as well as survival and well-being is hard to measure. But it is also quantitative in that natural capital and ecological carrying capacity can now be measured with foot printing tools. It’s a biological and ecological imperative for human society to exist within the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. Ecological literacy provides the basis for integrated thinking about sustainability or replenishibility . It supports the frame of mind, ethic, and the type of practice that will support the kind of thinking that prioritizes ecological imperatives. Ecological literacy – the understanding of the principles of organization that ecosystems have evolved to sustain the web of life – is the first step on the road to sustainability. The second step is the move towards eco-design. We need to apply our ecological knowledge to the fundamental redesign of our technologies and social institutions, so as to bridge the current gap between human design and the ecological sustainable systems of nature. Fritjof Capra (2003)

To achieve replenishibility we must dig deeply into the roots of our cultural assumptions and rework the flawed conceptual apparatus that is ecological illiterate. Our society has created industries, processes, programs and institutions that are destroying the ecosystem’s ability to support life. This unsustainable and reckless action is the direct result of a lack of ecological understanding and a lack of agency. Ecological literacy aims to replace fragmentary thinking with new cognitive and social capacities necessary for the design of sustainable ways of living.

7. BOTH/AND – time and again we return to this emphasis. Pastoral care and prophetic envisioning belong together. Caring in any given situation should accompany a widening sense of the need for systemic change attached [see the Capitalist Institute’s May report calling for an urgent ‘collective mind-shift’ and the Finance Lab’s report of 6-15 ‘The Need for Strategic Change’.]