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Moving Forward: Questions and Practices for Remembering and Grounding

By John Dempsey Parker, Rural Faith Communities Senior Fellow

As we carry on through Spring 2022, we know many are wrestling with the ripple effects and impacts of COVID, cultural polarizations, toxic politics, stress from climate change and international conflict …. I want to say, “We see you. We hear you.” It’s understandable that you may be feeling the weight of “where we are” in times such as these. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King asked, “Where do we go from here? Chaos or Community?” Here are some questions I often ask community and organizational leaders.

  • How do we nurture and grow cultural practices that cultivate and strengthen community?
  • What encourages generosity, hospitality, solidarity, and empowerment?
  • What nurtures wellness, healing, resilience, self-reliance, and self-determination?
  • How can we identify, leverage, and share our individual and collective gifts and assets in ways that are life-giving, nurture care and creativity, sustain diverse collaborations, and cultivate commitment to place?
  • What, where, and when are the places, spaces, and times to do this work?

Sometimes we need to remember some of the basics or explore new terrains in order to ground ourselves in our relationships, our personal, professional, and community relationships, in order to adapt and move forward. In these uncertain times, it may be necessary to build new relationships or deepen existing ones.  

As we discern ways to dig into what’s needed right now for ourselves, our teams and workplaces, as well as our communities, I’d like to offer two articles that may be helpful guides.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Self-Reflection (Harvard Business Review)

Four Practices to be a More Human-Centered Leader (The Aspen Institute)

We hope you find the questions above and these articles helpful. If you’d like to discuss how these questions and practices apply to our lives, our leadership, or within our organizations, let’s connect. You can catch me at Please take good care.