Letter from the Editors


This year—2018—Still Harbor is celebrating 10 years since it’s founding on leap day of 2008.

This is an issue that honors and celebrates the work of Still Harbor by bringing in the voices of those seeking purpose, healing, and meaning at the intersection of spirituality and social justice.

The core question both Still Harbor and Anchor have asked over the years is: what is the role of spirituality in social justice work? 

We have discerned our own sense of where spirituality belongs in social justice movements and explored how others navigate this space. At Anchor, we have sought this understanding through creative expressions. At Still Harbor, we have offered a response to this question through community relationships, skill building, and spiritual accompaniment. 

We know that there is a lot still to be discovered, and yet our experiences have supported our deepening understanding about the areas where spirituality serves an essential purpose in the pursuit of social justice. 

At the heart of making spirituality and social justice support one another lies a combination of spiritual values, practices that help us make meaning individually and collectively, and beliefs that connect us to something greater than ourselves. For many of us, once these elements of spirituality have been unpacked, social justice becomes inseparable from the spiritual life. Tapping into the ancient wisdom of all spiritual traditions as we wade through the muddy waters of our social justice missions becomes perhaps the most appropriate response to questions of purpose, authenticity, morality, sustainability, and leadership for collective transformation and liberation.

10 PRACTICES:

1. Discerning Purpose

2. Articulating Vision

3. Acting on Values

4. Listening Deeply

5. Embracing Vulnerability & Change

6. Working with Our Stories

7. Opening to Inspiration & Intuition

8. Understanding Power, Posture, & Privilege

9. Rooting in Compassion

10. Cultivating Wholeness in Relationship.

Still Harbor has developed ten practices of spiritual formation for social justice leadership. In this issue, we are honoring and celebrating these practices.

From Nadia’s piece on poetry and pain to Elissa’s piece on intentional community to Tim’s piece on vulnerability to Perry’s piece on movements for wellbeing, we as editors have offered our own perspectives on these practices as it relates to where spirituality and social justice align in our lives. 

And we are not alone: Virginia Peck’s faces of the Buddha invite us to experience great compassion; Garrett Mostowski helps us understand what it means to discern a call to ministry; Khalisa Rae’s poem, “Black Boy Painted as Butterfly” supports us in working with our stories; the interview with Tiffany Curtis and Dave Woessner explores the call to deep listening; and Ruth King offers an excerpt from her book, Mindful of Race, which challenges us to reconsider our power, posture, and privilege. 

We are not sure where Anchor will go in months and years ahead. We know, however, that there is value in offering a venue for a different kind of conversation about our collective experiences with the work of elevating spirituality in our social justice spaces.

We hope you enjoy the pages that follow.

With Gratitude and Love,
Perry, Elissa, Nadia, and Tim