Shifting Sacred Futures is a 6-week ep into the future of religious and spiritual leadership in today’s spiritual-but-not-religious world. Designed for real-world people committed to building a more compassionate and just world, this program will expand your idea of what’s possible in your community and beyond.
American spiritual life has changed dramatically over the past 60 years, yet the roles and expectations for people working in spiritual life remain largely unchanged. As a result, leaders report feeling burnt out, overworked, and disillusioned on a regular basis.
We all have assumptions about what it means to be a leader and those assumptions are doubly loaded when we are responsible for the spiritual care of others. We’ll spend some time talking about our assumptions, the assumptions put on us, and begin breaking these assumptions down.
Opening ourselves up to the “impossible” is a difficult task that science-fiction does wonderfully. Using sci-fi as a starting point, we’ll work on suspending our own disbelief at what is and is not possible for the world we live in. This is the first conversation we’ll have about worldbuilding and will focus on our personal dreams.
Every community needs some way to grieve loss and change yet few actually practice communal grieving outside of funerals. We’ll put our heads together to actually come up with grief rituals to help your communities process change and come out on the other side excited about what’s next.
Let’s talk about worldbuilding some more, but this time we’ll do it with an eye towards our communities. What does the world that your community is working so hard for look like? And how do we make it happen? We’ll discuss these questions and more all in week 4.
Spiritual and religious leaders require certain environmental conditions to thrive. We’ll use an ecological lens to think about our settings, the conditions we need to thrive as leaders, and the conditions our community members need in order to be better stewards of the community.
In this last week, we’ll talk about what’s next for us and learn a goal-setting process to be used in our communities to initiate purposeful, soulful reflection and change.
My name is Taj M. Smith and I’ll be your instructor!
I’ve always been drawn to spirituality and religion, but, as a transgender man, I grew up thinking spirituality and religion weren’t for me. When I came out as queer in high school, all of the messages I received from pastors and other religious people around me was that my existence was sinful. Despite my desire to grow in relationship with the Divine, I renounced spirituality altogether in favor of creating a world in which people like me don’t have to choose between being true to themselves and spirituality.
At first, I threw myself into activism, organizing for marriage equality in my home state, California, during the Prop 8 campaign. I still felt like something was missing though. I came back to religion in college when I met a group of other queer Christians. For the first time in my life, I felt validated in my existence and safe enough to explore the questions I’d held back for so long.
As I delved deeper into my spirituality, I got closer to the truth about myself: that I am transgender. I also understood that the call to activism I felt needed to have spiritual roots. In 2016, I received my MDiv from Harvard Divinity School where I studied theology, social change, and Christian ministry.
Since seminary I’ve worked at the intersections of faith and LGBTQ+ liberation.
My heart is in providing a safer space for progressive, radical, feminist, queer, and activist faith leaders to share their challenges and receive support.
Shifting Sacred Futures is designed to be that safer space.
Try it risk-free. If it’s not a good fit, you’ll get your money back with no questions asked.
We’ll help you find more clarity with no sales pitches or pressure to commit. Sign up for a 30-minute conversation below:
Get notified about future Shifting Sacred Futures application dates and cohorts.
Applications for the next cohort of Shifting Sacred Futures will open soon. Submit the form and we’ll email you as soon as you can apply.
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