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From the IEI Faith & Community Team

New Year Reflections, Looking Forward, Resource Sharing & What We’re Reading

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New Year Reflections

Ellen Beasley: “I wrapped up 2022 with a solo backpacking trip in Europe. As a lover of people and hater of being alone most of the time, this trip was so special in kicking off what I feel is a next chapter in my life. Through therapy and my gal Lexi(pro), I feel like I have begun feeling my truest self over the course of the past couple of years of forced (covid) personal growth and being alone. I am looking forward to another year of personal growth, but this time I am choosing it instead of lockdown choosing it for me. Send me all your podcast and audiobook recs!”

Kylie Foley: “I’m desperately looking to take things less seriously this year. The times I manage to deflate my anxiety are the times I can step back and giggle, shrug or sigh. And move forward! As the world becomes more serious – serious problems, serious escalation, serious consequences – a slight unraveling of my stoic duty is a welcome resolution for me. It allows me to prioritize my time, give copious grace to others and myself, and quickly analyze the ‘serenity prayer’ stats of any given situation.”

John Parker: “I’m having a renewed enthusiasm about shifting the percentages of how I spend my time. For example, increasing the percentage of time ‘being with’ and decreasing the percentage of time ‘doing tasks.’ More one-on-one relational catch-ups outside, plus walking meetings. Exploring creative ways of doing the work that maximize connections and relationships, with sincere interest in supporting what’s possible. Growing our team of partners, friends and colleagues focused on similar goals. Simplifying wherever possible, and leaning into what feels alive, emergent and life giving.” 

What We’re Looking Forward To Engaging

Resources We’re Gleaning From

What We’re Reading

  •  “Local Policy to Promote Healthy Food Access: A Food Systems Framework.” This updated resource (previously titled “Crosswalk”) can aid policymakers, leaders, advocates, researchers and others understand the range of policy options for communities seeking to increase access to healthy food. It shows how local laws—including legislation, administrative regulations and executive orders—can promote access to healthy food at various points along the food system. The new version also highlights planning documents, such as comprehensive plans and sustainability plans, which are often used to guide development and evaluation of local laws and other efforts. The resource is available at:
  • Restoring the Kinship Worldview: Indigenous Voices Introduce 28 Precepts for Rebalancing Life on Planet Earth by Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) and Darcia Narvaez

What We’re Listening To

Finally, a friendly reminder, for further engagement around: 

  • digital inclusion: contact Kylie Foley, 
  • educational attainment, intergenerational collaboration, youth development, and health-related ministries: contact Ellen Beasley,
  • economic and ecological resilience, cross-cultural and multi-faith partnerships, workforce and community economic development, ministries related to healthy & conscious aging or eldering, and community food systems: contact John Parker,