Interhelp Newsletter March 2017

Some folks hoping to attend recent introductory Work That Reconnects workshops had to be turned away; the workshops filled and then some. This work is so needed right now. Marc Lapin led one of these workshops in Middlebury, VT; see below for a behind-the-scenes account of the Cambridge workshop, “A Learning Experience for New Facilitators.”

If you see a need in your area and are not quite ready to offer a workshop on your own, contact us at Interhelp and we can give you ideas and support. The book Active Hope is a great resource for book groups and for fledgling facilitators.

Earth Leadership Cohort application deadline is this month! Pass the word along.

Recommended: Dahr Jamail’s recent interview with Joanna Macy in Truthout goes deep: “Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe.”

Please see below for highlights of the new Work That Reconnects.org; a sampling of resources used in the current Anti-oppression study group; and upcoming events.

As Melanie DeMore tells us: You gotta put one foot in front of the other, and lead with love …. (listen here)

Please be in touch,
Paula Hendrick
Interhelp Editor


Events Coming Up

Active Hope: Dancing the Spiral (March 31-April 2) has just a few spaces left; register promptly!

Rising with Roots: A five-day workshop of the Work That Reconnects; June 2-7 at Hallelujah Farm in Chesterfield, NH

Workshops led by Anne Symens-Bucher at Rowe Conference Center: World as Lover, World as Self: Joanna Macy’s Theory and Practice of the Work that Reconnects, October 20-22 and October 22-27

Note change of date: 2017 Interhelp Gathering, November 3-5, Woolman Hill Retreat Center, Deerfield, MA. Working title: Moving Forward with Compassion, Courage, Insight and Wisdom.


Local to Global: All-new WTR Network Online Experience
Carol Harley

“Each voice speaks for many others
Held in this net we’re not alone
Truth when told and heard and held
In loving confidence breathes us home”*

I attended a launch party on February 18, for a tour of the beautiful and useful workthatreconnects.org – time well spent! The new site is elegantly simple. It provides us with much more than meets the eye at first glance.

Limitless possibility is right here. From local events wherever you are in the world, to exploring WTR in-depth issues that connect us across continents and oceans, you can find or create what you need. I feel enormous gratitude to the team who made this possible!

At the party, I learned that the site is open to your suggestions and further improvement. It includes:

  • thoughtful design & functionality
  • facilitator listings from prior global list; new ones added
  • events & facilitators now easier to find, with more detail
  • regional hubs & “friends of WTR”
  • evolving & revised practices
  • effective ways to share & interact

From the site you can easily get to the fabulous Deep Times journal. You can apply to be a listed facilitator of WTR. And find out about the WTR Network.

I encourage you to log on and explore! Participate, promote, share, and even consider volunteering. “Join as a member” requires only your interest and willingness to show up. See you online!

*closing verse of “Truth Mandala” by Gretchen Sleicher, available at a site linked from “Songs” in the Resources menu of workthatreconnects.org


A Learning Experience for New Facilitators

Everyone learned a lot when a new group of facilitators led a new group of people in an introductory workshop on Saturday, February 18 at the Cambridge, Massachusetts Friends Meetinghouse.

The four member facilitation team learned how complex it is to choose a small sample of the Work That Reconnects that holds together and represents the work authentically, and how much thought it requires to take practices “out of the book” and make them your own.

We spent many hours in preparation, and it served us well. We were able to support each other and pass the ball around smoothly. Some surprises came up. One of us lost her script for a practice, but she was able to lead it from memory having pored over it so much in advance. Another left something crucial at home, and while she spent the lunch hour on a high-speed retrieval mission, the others calmly planned a work-around.

Participants probably ranged in age from 20s to 80s, and they came from varied backgrounds, such as faith communities and climate/environmental organizations. Some were completely new to the Work That Reconnects while others were old hands, yet it was magical to see people relax and open up over the course of the day. They went from sitting alongside each other as strangers to being an effervescent group of new friends and allies.

We learned that there is a great thirst for this work, that even a brief experience can help people, and that new leaders can bring that.

Anne Goodwin, John MacDougall, Amy Tighe, and Su Turner


Anti-oppression Study Group Report
Paula Hendrick

The “Anti-Oppression Study Group for White-Identified Folks in the Work That Reconnects Community,” an online group with twice-monthly sessions, is about half over. I am learning so much! Here I share a few items, each basic to my growing understanding of the world I live in. Thanks to Eleanor Hancock of White Awake, our facilitator, who provided most of these resources.

For an overview of why all white people living in the US, myself included, need to deeply understand racism, read Our Analysis from the White Awake website.

This video illuminates the roots of the white supremacy system: Birth of a White Nation. To understand a flourishing of this system in modern times, read The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehesi Coates, from The Atlantic.

“White Fragility” is a term coined by Robin DiAngelo. Read her academic article here, or a brief magazine article by her here.

Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term “Intersectionality” and demonstrates its meaning vividly in this video.

I could go on! But let me simply recommend my own starting points in this whole exploration, the book Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and the On Being interview with Ruby Sales, Where Does It Hurt? Find more good suggestions at workthatreconnects.org. A more complete list of resources from the study group will be posted on the Interhelp website this spring.

 

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