We share a common destiny as human beings, each of us unique and yet called to live together in community. As we discern our vocations in life, we are led into introspection and communal cooperation in a world that we all inhabit together. Because we humans are also becoming increasingly aware of how much our lifestyles are damaging the earth, we sense an urgent calling to reexamine the very shape of our individual vocations and the ways we live them out within our communities and beyond.
We are being called, individually and collectively, to reshape our thinking about both our sense of place and our sense of calling in ways that allow all life to be sustained globally, for the earth itself and for all beings now and in generations to come.
Historically, one might have regarded the concepts of vocation and sustainability as completely unrelated, but there is an increasing intersection regarding the crucial question of the welfare of the communities. In fact, the integration of vocation and sustainability may offer not only an enhanced understanding of the world and of its current challenges, but also solutions that emerge through careful vocational thinking.
This event will pose a crucial question for our classrooms and college communities: How can our expanded understanding of vocation and its innovative and purposeful integration with sustainability help guide our students and the world to more globally sustainable ways of living, now and for the future? The goal is to open connections among the mostly separate college programs on Vocation, Sustainability and Interreligious learning while we contemplate the sense of place.
This gathering will draw broadly from the college and university community: administrators, faculty, and staff, including but not limited to campus pastors, and vocation directors, those interested in environmental science, religion, diversity, and interreligious and international exchange. Teams of two or three members from colleges and universities are encouraged for active exchange during the conference and continued conversation as participants return to their campuses. Campus posters showing the various activities relating to vocation, sustainability, and interreligious work relevant for their campuses will be requested. Teams will be divided by interest area into small mixed working groups representing a variety of colleges and universities.