My February social good calendar is shaping up to be all about faith: continuing work with a non-profit on its 40-year-old relationship with a hostile denomination, discussing the future of Seventh-day Adventism with four other Millennials, and meeting with other young adult faith leaders around the US capital.
February 1: Meetings in Riverside, CA
I spent some time with educators and friends in Riverside, CA, this weekend. While there, I took a micro-tour of the La Sierra University campus.
Of course I loved how green the site was: this was the first week of a cold February and it looked like mid-spring. But my favorite campus feature was the series of quote-flags around the greens, student lounge, cafeteria, and administration building. Combined with the photo-value flags on the road up to campus, these flags represent a powerful statement of what motivates the La Sierra community and what it strives to become.
Integrating attractive flags into your institutional environment is an inexpensive way to make a campus values campaign both tangible and beautiful. The Texas Tech University Ethics Center oversaw a similar series of flags installed in the Student Center while I worked there. La Sierra has already taken the next step: dispersing these flags outside across campus rather than concentrating them in a single albeit central space, and matching the flag principles to the actions taken by students, staff, faculty, and administrators.
Texas Tech administrators were pleased to discover how much their ethics flags and other campaign publicity efforts embedded the ethics principles into the conversations that students and faculty had with each other and with the administration. They helped to provide a new common language—a common sense—that the community could use to build up together.
If you’re part of the La Sierra community, I’d hear from you about these flags. How long have the flags been up, and who determined which quotes would be used? Do people cite them when talking or writing to the administration? Does the student paper ever refer to them?
February 8: Young Adult Faith Leaders Summit, Washington, DC
This Saturday I’ll be part of the 2014 Young Adult Faith Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. Hosted by the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, the summit is the second-regional convocation of people under 40 who care about and are working in or across communities of faith. Eleven traditions cofounded the IFCMW—and Seventh-day Adventism is not one of them. I’m curious about whether I’ll be the only out Adventist in the cohort this weekend. I hope not but will report back.
Thanks to Ogun Holder for reminding me that this was coming up!
February 15: Adventist Today Panel, Loma Linda, CA
“In a quest to better understand and minister to today’s younger generation in the Church, Adventist Today and Loma Linda University are bringing together a panel of articulate young adults from various backgrounds to share their stories, perspectives, and comments about the Adventist Church.”
Monte Sahlin will be hosting this conversation on behalf of the Adventist Today board; I look forward to talking with him and listening to stories and thoughts from the other panelists.
I’d started writing my talk about 3 weeks ago, but I’m radically rewriting it this week. If the text survives the next 10 days, I’ll be talking about my denomination’s current future, an alternative vision of the future baked into its fundamental beliefs, and what keeps me engaged and not merely frustrated. There will be cybernetics and art references; there’ll also be a cute childhood photo if I can fit it in.
If you’re local to Loma Linda, join us! I understand that a recording will be available post-event.
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