Governance - Faith Communities and Social Enterprise/Economy

November 24, 2008
Short Description: 

My current interest is in the whole world of governance - how we govern ourselves in the great global transitions going on.

On November 7th I was elected to the board of directors of the Alberta Community Economic Development Network Cooperative AB CED Network Coop  www.abced.ca at their AGM. One of the comments made at that meeting was to "engage faith communities more in the social economy". 

Last week my wife Patricia and I attended a lecture on Hildegard of Bingen at Camrose (Alberta, Canada) Augustana University (Chester Ronning Centre).  At the beginning of the presentation Pastor Ingrid Cramer-Doerschel of Trinity Lutheran Church, Edmonton gave a quote that impressed me. Upon my request for the reference she wrote: 
 
With regard to Hildegard's 900th anniversary a prayer and hymn book was published in German. It was introduced by Abbes Edeltraut of Rubertsberg and Eibingen, the present successor of Hildegard. She wrote in German (translation by me):

"We are living in a time of transition ....and people do not know how to conduct life anymore in a good way. What do we need to change the way we think, the way our very lives are governed by little else than what our momentary need might be? Hildegard's voice is strong. She bridges the gap of 900 years and makes people awake. She asks us to understand ourselves as God's creation and as a part of his whole holy world. She teaches us awe again."
 
This quote struck me as being very appropriate for a conversation I am having on four fronts:
 
1.    The Gospel and Our Culture Network    
 
2.    Local and Regional Public Presence.  Through my work as Mayor of the Village of Strome, Director of the Ankerton Rural Gas Coop, Director of Braed, other local and regional committees and boards and my recent election to the board of AB CED Network Coop.
 
3.    Continuing Academic Research.  My Doctor of Ministry (D. Min. Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 1999) Dissertation was titled Towards a Transformed Rural Church and Community.  I am beginning to get serious about re-writing this document along the lines of Towards a Transformed (Rural) Community where church becomes just one of many factors.
 
4.    Global JourneysRecent journeys to England, Ireland, Hungary, the nations surrounding Hungary and a planned Journey to Greece, Turkey and Italy (In the Steps of Saint Paul) have expanded my understanding of global realities. One organization of interest is The Carpathian Foundation http://www.carpathianfoundation.org/cf/web/index.jsp
 
My current interest is in the whole world of governance - how we govern ourselves in the great global transitions going on – which bring me back to the quote and its importance to me.
 
"We are living in a time of transition ....and people do not know how to conduct life anymore in a good way. What do we need to change the way we think, the way our very lives are governed by little else than what our momentary need might be? Hildegard's voice is strong. She bridges the gap of 900 years and makes people awake. She asks us to understand ourselves as God's creation and as a part of his whole holy world. She teaches us awe again."
 
Pastor Ingrid closed her note to me with these words:  "thank for your email. I am very interested in the mission you and Pat are doing - it is so important to be a pilgrim with other pilgrims for the sake of our world - would there be a possibility to be supportive?"
 
Brian McGaffigan