Henri Nouwen once wrote that “Words can offer perspective, insight, understanding, and vision.” For over 30 years now, our name has been the Center for Sharing. These words helped to launch our mission of sharing life, stories and authentic relationships together. As we practiced servant leadership, we developed a deeper understanding and evolved. And now, with the formation of the Broetje Family Trust, we find ourselves studying those words again. We seek to capture the fuller mission and identity of who we have become, as well as to provide a stronger fit within the group of 3 foundations that make up the Trust.
So today we are announcing that the Center for Sharing is changing our name to Centros, which in Spanish is plural for center. Centros conveys that our mission is not a single thing, not practiced in a single place, nor represented in a single way. Rather, our work is rooted in the “centers” of our identity—the values, philosophies and theory of change that underlie all that we do across our organizations. At Centros we foster “centers” through the teaching, practicing and mentoring of others in Servant Leadership. We also nurture the emergence of “centers” in other countries where servant leaders are seeking to be what Margaret Wheatley calls “islands of sanity” – places of healing and authentic community amid the chaos of our world. We believe that this word, the name Centros, gives a clear perspective on where we are today while holding a vision for where we seek to go in years to come.
Though our name is changing, we are restating and recommitting ourselves to our mission statement: “Calling forth the gifts of all people through Christ-centered community.” This mission guides our work to come alongside people, especially those forced to the margins of society, and together seek spiritual wellbeing in our connections to God, Self, Others and Creation. That is the role of a Servant Leader and is reaffirmed simply in the tag line that we adopted: Community Focused – Servant Led. The intended outcome of our ministry is further represented in our logo mark, representing a circle of joyful people in community together. As servant leaders carry the Spirit of God into community, healing happens in genuine relationships, and authentic community is formed.
That is who we are. We are Centros.