The Center for New Creation was founded in 1979 as an interfaith peace and justice center in Arlington, Virginia. Over the next 15 years, the center focused on issues of poverty, discrimination, war and peace, and US policy in Central America, often working in collaboration with groups across the river in Washington DC. Due to financial constraints, the Center closed its doors as an active group in the 1990s, but has continued on as a non-profit sponsor for several projects in keeping with its mission, including the Jubilee USA campaign, part of an international movement to demand that financial institutions cancel the unsustainable debt of poor countries around the world. The CNC was sponsor of the project, Spirituality and Ecological Hope, which has now been subsumed into the Center as its primary work and identity. Not yet a physical place, it is a “virtual space” from which we carry out our work, offering presentations, workshops, reflection/retreat days, and collaboration where possible with community groups in the region where we are based, Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.
The Center for New Creation educates and fosters dialogue about critical ecological and social justice issues, encouraging careful social analysis and reflection to identify root causes of environmental degradation, injustice, and social violence, and strategic, community-based actions in response. The CNC supports creative and just alternatives to the status quo and emphasizes the importance of solidarity and common effort across national and economic boundaries in the work for a better world.
Humanity faces perhaps its greatest challenge in history. A confluence of trends is reshaping our world, challenging a way of life that is no longer sustainable. What are these trends?
global warming and climate change
consuming beyond the capacity of the Earth to renew the resources we need for life
destruction of ecosystems across the planet
painful breaches within the human community, including racism, intolerance toward immigrants and people of other faiths and cultures, and extreme economic inequality
Around the world communities are emerging to counter these trends in the belief that “another world is possible,” to create a human community living in balance within the limits and gifts of this beautiful planet Earth. We seek to be part of that emergence, to support it where we can, and to make it increasingly visible here on this website.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Co-president, Pax Christi International, CNC co-founder
Assisi Community, Washington DC
Tender Shoot of Joy, Meditation Milwaukee
Catholics for Peace & Justice, Waukesha County Green Team
Center for New Creation
*organizations listed for identity purposes only
I started this work, which focuses on the nexus among issues of ecology, culture, and spirituality, in 2006 after 24 years as co-coordinator and director of the Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico in Washington DC. In 2008 my second book, Living Beyond the ‘End of the World:’ A Spirituality of Hope, was published by Orbis Books, Maryknoll NY. In that volume, I draw together some of the key interlocking trends bringing our world to the point of ecological collapse, and how we might begin to create new ways of life to help us move through and beyond the crisis. The release also launched a new project, Spirituality and Ecological Hope, which has now become the work of the Center for New Creation. In 2007 I returned to my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to continue this project. For more of my story, please visit: www.ecologicalhope.org/about/margaret-swedish