Monday, July 17, 2017

The Present Emerging Future

Certain words inspire my practice along with an intention to be relational and to build community.

The Greek word meno (abide) in John’s Gospel best describes my understanding of the relational, “he in us and we in him.” (John 15:4)

Another foundational New Testament word is parakaleo, a called one alongside, from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) The Greek word for comforted is a form of parakaleo, meaning a called one alongside.

I have already introduced peregrinatio, "to journey with God, not knowing where you are going, but you will find out when you get there." Now Otto Scharmer in his Theory U has an equivalent expression, "Leading from the future as it emerges."

I recently experienced where the future is now emerging. When I went to the Bettendorf Presbyterian Church the other day I didn't know what would emerge, my plan was to leave a page for the bulletin board as I had done at St.Paul Lutheran, inviting members to visit the blog.   .

An Invitation
Story Metaphor Listening Blog

 Listening reflections focus on the
listening model, scripture reflections,
history, and interesting stories.

The Rev. Canon Marlin Whitmer, M.Div., B.C.C.
Blog Author, Retired Hospital Chaplain,
Founder of the Befrienders, 1966,
Who Celebrate 50 years
at Genesis Hospital, Davenport, Iowa
and 43 years at Trinity Hospital, Rock Island, Ill

When still an active chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital I knew a number of the clergy who served here at the Presbyterian Church, especially Gail Miller, his wife took the Befriender training. When I asked the secretary about posting the invite on the bulletin board she immediately suggested that I talk to the pastor. We had a good get acquainted visit and when I asked for posting he did much better by saying he would give each Deacon a copy. That was a breakthrough with a potential future. Especially as I now make plans to visit churches in the Quad Cities who have befrienders.

In this model the leader becomes a facilitator as the future emerges.

The examples from my own experience are numerous.

The future of the befriends 50 years ago emerged from the question, "How can we change the notion cart rule, “ Do not to talk to patients?” I think patients want to talk."

The future of the grief resource group ermerged from the observation that most of the stories patients shared contained some kind of loss or change.

The grief recovery group emerged as we became aware that hospital support for families ended with the death of a family member. Family members we had come to know over a period of time still needed care and support and follow up.  .

Our grief resource group emerged as a resource for the community through workshops for churches, lay people, and other professionals. Howard Clinebell was one who came here for two three day periods to help facilitate this.

More later. The point to all this: we were leading from the future as it emerged in our various relational ministries and centers for reflection.  The time for reflection was essential.

I will write the story of Dr. Hans Selye as the future of the stress response syndrome emerged from his various observations over ten plus years.

Otto Scharmer articulates the approach profoundly in his books Theory U and Presence. Here is a short introduction.

More on Otto Scharmers U Theory and the listening model later.

To be continued,

Marlin Whtimer, BCC

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