Amy Moritz describes the past six months as a period of deep preparation as she and a core of volunteers connected to the Center for Transforming Communities in Memphis prepared to plant seeds of change.
Through their many connections to people in the city working to strengthen local vitality, one neighborhood at a time, they have been cultivating the soil, so to speak. When 300 people gathered for a conversation about the possibilities last week, she could see these efforts paying off. Thought leaders Peter Block, John McKnight and Walter Brueggemann helped guide guests through a conversation about the creation of a new Memphis narrative that looks beyond problem-solving to one that honors the gifts and possibilities.“
On Nov. 14, perhaps some new seeds were planted in some very rich soil that will take root,” Moritz said the morning after the event. “Today, I’m still wondering what that will look like. I know it will be something amazing but that’s kind of where I am — just knowing that the soil has been properly cultivated; there’s a deep satisfaction that that occurred and some great seeds were planted.”She talks of energy in abundance and a deep sense of commitment in the room as people from all walks of life shared the hope that comes by relating to one another in new ways and cooperating to make a difference in their neighborhoods.
She recalls Peter Block at the end of the day offering his reflections and speaking of the same level of commitment. As an influential voice in community building, he is invited to speak at many events, he told the group, and he chooses which ones to attend carefully based on the level of commitment and energy he can feel in the community inviting him.
As he shared those words, Amy realized just how deep the dedication to the city is among so many community builders, and in the quiet morning after the event, she was still soaking in these reflections.
She is careful to not rush the next steps, she says, though she is eager to see what will sprout in the next few weeks from the seeds that were planted.
“I really want to just marinate in what this is and trust that it is going to be very apparent where this takes us,” Amy says.
It’s about being present in the moment and open to what will naturally emerge, and considering the feeling in the room during the event and the depth of conversation, Amy says exciting times are afoot in Memphis.
If you have questions comments or a story to share about your experience with community transformation in Memphis, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.