• Create hospitable space
  • Ask self-awakening questions
  • Reflect theologically together
  • Enact the next most faithful step

There is a lot that I like in this simple acronym, offered by some leaders from the Forum for Theological Exploration. “CARE” is a snippet of offering and distillation from three people, Stephen Lewis, Dori Grinenko Baker, and Matthew Wesley Williams came up with. Once upon a time, maybe around 2012, they were participants at an Art of Hosting training and retreat that I co-hosted with Chris Corrigan, Caitlin Frost, and Teresa Posakony. I remember Stephen, Dori, and Matthew — for their insightfulness and full hearts, that shows in this article that harvests some of their path of learning.

Give the article a read. There are themes that stand out to me. One, “willing to do something different.” This is evident in their book title, Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose. There’s much to be said about the mere willingness to explore how change happens, whether in faith communities or the many other systems where people are expanding an invitation to seek “another way.”

Two, another theme, is from FTE itself. They used to be “Fund for Theological Education.” Now they are “Forum for Theological Exploration.” Brilliant, right. Still FTE, but, even that name points to a cultural shift. The folks at FTE were even so bold as to suspend their programming in an “organizational pause” so that they could give attention to clarifying, and choosing, who they really are.

I love the courage in this FTE story with Stephen, Dori, and Matthew. I love it that the methods and frameworks from Art of Hosting were a contribution of some sort. Their story of practice is inspiring, and shows a courage and clarity that many of us seek.