What is the New Story?

by Jim Serdy

The New Story Group is a conversation among members and friends at FMC which has been ongoing for many years. It is a study group, inspired by Mary Coelho, artist, author, theologian and member of FMC. Among her published works is Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood: The Power of Contemplation in an Emerging Universe in which she relates both her spiritual journey and a whole new way of understanding the world and ourselves. Her proposition, in keeping with Quaker Tradition, is that Western culture is caught between contradictory ways of understanding the world in which science and faith are seemingly incompatible. Continuing evolution of consciousness and scientific breakthroughs are challenging the limits of the classical dualism expressed in the Biblical Creation Story evident in the materialistic worldview that has brought humanity to the brink of apocalypse.

We need a fresh perspective on the place of sacredness in the world and in our lives. The New Story Group is exploring through reading, conversation and practice this transformation in perception in pursuit of a New Story for humanity in which we share in the creative evolutionary process of the universe of which we are an integral part.


Several years ago the New Story Group read Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers “Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future: (Doubleday, 2004), C.Otto Scharmer “Thoery U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges” (BK Business Book, 2009), and Joseph Jaraowski “Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership” (BK Publishers, 2011).

Grady Mcgonagill joined our group a couple years ago (I’m terrible at keeping time! Perhaps he can fill us in when.) with considerable experience with this movement. He presented the following talks:

To supplement Grady’s references, David Damm-Luhr recommends going to Otto Scharmer’s website, which offers many resources. He found the video “From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies” (at the bottom of the main web page) especially helpful.

Penny Yanuba is attending Otto Scharmer’s course on “Awareness-Based Systems Change with u.lab – How to Sense and Actualize the Future.” Quote from introduction:

In this 90-minute introductory course discover how awareness based systems change and a method of learning from the emerging future allow individuals, organizations, and communities to turn ideas into real world change.

By completing this business and management course, you will learn the basics of Theory U, an approach to leading profound change that has been developed by action researchers at MIT, and practiced by leaders around the world, for over 20 years.

You will also join a global community of awareness based change makers that collaborate in manifold change processes across cultures.

This course is a great introduction to Theory U. For a deeper understanding of how to apply the Theory U methodology to issues that matter to you, enroll in u.lab: Leading From the Emerging Future.


A Nonviolent Economy Beyond Capitalism by Severyn Bruyn, 2016.