Hello from Uganda! I am here to attend the annual Great Lakes Leadership Institute organized by the Center for Reconciliation at the Duke Divinity School and its African partners. I will be blogging about the five-day conference, which brings together Christian leaders from East Africa (and a select few from the U.S.) working to promote peace and reconciliation in their communities. The week will be full of plenary sessions, discussion seminars, and time for worship and reflection.
I attended the 2012 Institute and came away inspired and awed by the work of these amazing leaders. (See last year’s blog posts compiled here.)
My three goals for this year’s Institute are to:
2. Connect, and
3. Be present
Learn: This year, for the first time, we will have a seminar on reconciliation, trauma, and community health, which I helped to organize. In this seminar, we will hear directly from leaders working in the trenches about how they address health – physical, mental, and spiritual – in their communities and the role reconciliation plays in building healthy communities.
Connect: At Duke I manage research projects that connect faculty and students in global health, theology, business, and environmental studies to address difficult global health challenges. Over the next week, I will continue to serve as a bridge-builder, looking for ways to connect participants with each other (and possibly with my colleagues back at Duke) so they can support one another in their work.
Be present: One of the wonderful things about this Institute is that it takes the participants away from their daily routines and struggles. It is a place of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation and provides space to build and nurture relationships. I also plan to use this time to be present; to stop rushing from place to place and task to task and to focus on the conversations, the relationships, and the insights that the week is sure to bring.