Creating a New Story

The Role of Imagination and Place in Addressing Our Collective Future

A day-long retreat with Rev. Alison Cornish and Rev. Maria Anderson-Lippert
Occurred on Thursday, March 24, 2022

“Humans are capable of a unique trick, creating realities by first imagining them, but experiencing them in their minds ... As soon as we sense the possibility of a more desirable world, we begin behaving differently, as though that world is starting to come into existence, as though, in our mind's eye, we are already there. The dream becomes an invisible force which pulls us forward. By this process it begins to come true. The act of imagining somehow makes it real ... And what is possible in art becomes thinkable in life.” — Brian Eno

It can be easy to bear witness to the circumstances of our common shared life these days — prolonged pandemic, droughts, wildfires, floods, continued political divide — and experience fear, dread, or despair. There aren't many hopeful stories about what kind of a future we are headed towards. However, the particular challenges of living in a climate-changed world require resilient, grounded, and connected individuals who are able to imagine and articulate a different future, hopeful stories about what might be possible. In other words, the particular challenges of our time require all of us, and all our inherent creativity!

We welcomed you to join us for a spacious, day-long retreat in exercising imagination, grounding us in what could be, and connecting with companions along the way. We engaged practices of contemplation and reflection on specific places in our lives, fueling our imaginations and our spirits for telling new stories about what could be, about the future we are headed towards. As this was a day of embodiment, we invited you to come to our day of retreat holding a specific place in your heart and in your mind — perhaps a spot in nature, or your home; maybe a congregational space, or someplace public. Consider coming to our retreat day with a companion, or even a group, all holding the same space in intention and care.

During our day together, Alison and Maria led individual and group spiritual practices of connecting to a specific place, and imagining a different future for that place. We explored questions such as: What do you observe? What stories do you know about this place? What was it like here … a decade ago? a century? a millennium? Who (in addition to you and God) cares about what happens to and with this place?

Retreat Guides

Alison Cornish

Meet Alison

Maria Anderson-Lippert

Meet Maria