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The Future Initiatives Group 3-Year Report

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Fall Newsletters 2012

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Still Sparkling: Report on the “Living Gold” Conference

The “Living Gold” conference for congregations and  priests from North and South America took place on Vancouver Island, July 21-29, 2012. The final number of participants was 196, which included fifteen priests, ten children and five Camphill companions. From Canada there were 75 (some only part-time), 53 from the USA, 32 from South America, and also a diverse group from Germany, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands Antilles and the Philippines.

The venue was a private boarding school with beautiful grounds and ample room in the chapel, dining hall, classrooms and dormitories. Surrounded by this gracious setting, we could be grateful that such an institution feels a mission of service to the wider community, and generously offers their campus and facilities for rent to groups whom Shawnigan Lake School recognizes as serving “the greater good.”

As diverse as both the group and the daily themes were, there was an uplifting sense of overall harmony. The lectures built upon each other, which was remarkable when considering the speakers did not know what the others were going to say. We followed the role that gold has played in relationship to Man, society and the Earth. Read more

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Christ and the Corporate Being

When Jesus went down to the river that day
He was baptized in the usual way.
And when it was done, God blessed his Son,
He sent him his love,
On the wings of a dove.
(Gospel Hymn)

One of the great moments in the Gospels comes at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, immediately after his Baptism in the Jordan. At that moment Jesus has received into himself the Spirit of God, which has descended like a dove, and the voice of God proclaims His love for His Son, through whom He will be revealed.

This is a moment of great power, a supreme moment of the infusion of Spirit into matter. It is at this time, when the Power of God is so strongly felt, that the Temptation by the Adversary Powers takes place.

The Adversary offers up three temptations: rulership over the world, invulnerability, and the ability to turn stones into bread. Christ refuses these temptations and begins the process of uniting His Being with that of humanity, so that we ourselves may bring into being The Christ who dwells within each and every member of the human family.

When we look at our world today and how it operates, we see that the most powerful being on our planet is the global corporation. Read more

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Welcome New Priests!

The Christian Community in North American congratulates and warmly welcomes two newly ordained priests!  Ann Burfeind and Darryl Coonan were both ordained this past March in New York, and we would like to introduce you to them here.

 Rev. Ann Burfeind was born in Chicago and grew up on a farm in the upper Midwest. She was a Waldorf class teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and for many years worked, in various capacities at the Christian Community summer camp in the Midwest. Earlier this year she completed the Seminary curriculum in Stuttgart, Germany, and was ordained on March 18th, in Spring Valley, NY. Rev. Burfeind is now returning to her roots in the Midwest as a priest in the Christian Community in Chicago. Welcome back Ann!

 

  Rev. Darryl Coonan is a native of Australia and lived there until he entered the Seminary in Chicago, in 2008. During his time in his home land, he worked as a nurse for 13 years. His experience working as a community health nurse led him to further his education to more effectively work with drug dependence and mental illness. He went on to complete  four graduate level programs, which he then utilized in his work in the field of addictions, major psychiatric conditions, and in his own private psychotherapy practice.

Rev. Coonan completed his Seminary studies and training at the Seminary in Stuttgart, Germany, earlier this year and was ordained in the Taconic-Berkshire Community in New York, on March 16, 2012. He is presently visiting with the Boston congregation and their affiliates in New Hampshire and Maine. A member of the Christian Community since 1997, Rev. Coonan has a 30 year old daughter and two grandchildren who currently live in Melbourne, Australia. Welcome Darryl!

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“by Hanging Him From a Tree…”

Let us love the trees,
to us the trees are good.
Within their shoots of green
streams God’s own living blood.
Once the wood did harden,
so Christ hung thereupon.
To nourish us with new food
eternal flow’ring was won.
(Albert Steffen 1921)[i]

HOLY WEEK AND TREES

Trees permeate Holy Week. On Palm Sunday branches are torn from trees (Gk: den’-dron) and placed on the road into Jerusalem (Mt 21:8). On Monday the fig tree (soo-kay’) is cursed, on Tuesday it is dead (Mk 11:13, 20). Also on Tuesday, in his apocalyptic discourse, Christ says: “Observe the fig tree and all the other trees (den’-dron).” (Lk 21:29).[i] On Thursday he refers to himself as the vine (essentially a water-laden prostrate tree) (Jn 15:1-5). On Good Friday Christ says: “…if they do these things when the wood (or ‘tree”) (xoo’-lon) is full of water (or “green”), what will happen when it is dry” (Lk 23:31)[ii]

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Advent Poem – “Hope”

As the apple of red was tasted
A veil spread across the soul’s eyes.
Overcome by the sweetness
The world beyond was viewed
As through a cloud.

More sweetness, more color craved,
Until cloud so thickened
Only wafting shadows were seen,
Leading mind to conclude
Nothing more was there.

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On Miracles and Recognizing the Saints in our Midst

The following short article was written in response to an article by Ann Marcaida, which was originally published on the website, “Gather”. Her article was titled, “Unconditional Love and a Modern-Day Saint”, and she recommended the writer and memoirist Deborah Digges for sainthood. This was written in support of her article and also originally published on “Gather”. She inaugurated the Losing Your Religion Sainthood Program and I hope to offer some thoughts that may strengthen her canonization work.
Ms. Marcaida did a first great deed in redeeming the idea of the saint by breaking away from the simplistic and inaccurate idea of saint as opposed to sinner, that is, Saints are “good” Sinners are “bad”. Read more

A Peek Inside the Beehive; An Update From the Future Initiatives Group

Peek Inside the BeehiveThe Future Initiatives Group has been a beehive of activity throughout 2010. The current members, Ann Elizabeth Barnes, Fiona Gold, Cindy Hindes, Carol Kelly, Patrick Kennedy, and Oliver Steinrueck, were joined by two new members, Anna Claire Novotny (Spring Valley) and Eileen King (Washington DC), who has agreed to join us at our next meeting. The group has been meeting twice a year, most recently in Los Angeles, CA and Spring Valley, NY, and has had numerous teleconferences during the year. And like bees in the winter that exchange sing song, much discussion was had, and like bees in the summer, scouts have been flying all over North America searching for nectar. Funny how searching for future directions brings you smack, kerplop into the present. Here is a summary of projects to date. If you have extra energy, ideas and enthusiasm sparked by any of these projects, please get in touch with anyone on the Future Initiatives Group. Read more