Date: Saturday, August 30th, 2014
As a spiritual community grows, issues will inevitably arise that are influenced from the culture of imbalance in which we find ourselves. These can show up as conflict, distrust, accusation, and blame. Even groups of very like-minded people can find themselves suddenly polarized in hidden or open dispute despite their heart-felt intent to work toward common cause. Our community is no different as we endeavor to bring Grandfather’s work of fire and heart to the world.
We have recently heard of conflict toward elders who play direct and indirect roles in the Sacred Fire Community triggering emotions around the subjects of authority, gender and trustworthiness. In traditional villages when such conflicts arose, people would gather around a sacred fire to speak their mind, listen to their mutual heart and explore their fears and misunderstandings in an effort to restore clarity, openness and resolution.
As an international community organization it is our mission to support the restoration of heart perspectives as a way of living in the world. We see a great opportunity in the timing of this situation to explore these subjects, and it is with this intention that we are hosting a Forum on August 30th to engage each other in the hope that openness, understanding and growth can be achieved for ourselves and our expanding community.
This forum will be open to anyone in or related to the community with concerns or interest regarding the topics mentioned above. We have engaged Global Process Institute, an internationally recognized facilitation organization, who will be sending Gary Reiss to guide the process. Gary brings extensive experience as an international facilitator with a diverse range of organizations and groups. He has provided regular facilitation in the Middle East and around the world, working with issues such as racism, sexual identity, environmental concerns and conflict. We have also invited the Elder Council of the Marakate medicine group — David Wiley, Deanna Jenné, and Eliot Cowan — who have committed to participate as well.
The forum will take place at the hearth of Tim Simon and Gwen Broz in Brookfield, Massachusetts, with a morning session from 10 am to 1 pm, and an afternoon session from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm, taking short breaks as needed.
This is a wonderful opportunity to have your voice heard in the presence of fire and community as we mutually undertake a process of deep exploration and learning around these issues that are so central to our times. We are asking for a small donation of $15 at the door to help offset some of the expenses. If you wish to give more in support of events such as this, your contribution will also be welcomed.
If you plan to attend, please send an email to Joanne Rothstein (email@example.com), so we can plan appropriately for the group size. An email with directions and logistical information will be sent to you separately when you RSVP.
With gratitude for your participation as we learn and grow together in community,
Bill Sutton, Executive Director
Annie King, Fire Chief
Sacred Fire Community
Hello Specialty Fire Organizers,
I am so deeply grateful that you are feeling the pulse of and hearing our community in a way that brought forth the need & inspiration for this fire. I am sad that I cannot be there to witness and participate due to a previous family commitment and the travel expenses to get to Massachusetts.
My recent community experiences are that many SFC hamlets are feeling stirred by these same issues concerning gender, authority & power. Without good support and an agreed upon process for conflict resolution, these issues can and do create rumors, half-truths, separation, disconnection and lack of trust.
So I have 2 requests:
How can the learning & experience of this fire in Mass. be shared with ALL the community who are not able to attend?
How can this same opportunity be brought to many other hamlets as soon as possible?
It feels like many of our regions are in need of connecting with this type of process help & support ~
an in-person gathering where we can experience being heard with deep listening and appreciation that moves us into growthful actions and change.
With Love & Gratitude,
Chapel Hill, NC SFC
wow, very impressive. I do have to say I feel these issues come up inside of myself sometimes. An anger that is most surely around my own authority issues. I feel proud of our community that the courage is there to address these things, setting the precedent for further issues that arise to also be handled in an equally wise way. We are walking our talk and I love it.
Wish I could be there. I share the desire for a report of sorts to the community. I will also plan to light a candle in support of David, Deanna, Eliot and all who are there, sending my heart where I cannot be physically.
SFC member, hamletless in Canada.
I just want to say that I think this is fantastic and I’d come along if I lived closer. I agree it would be wonderful to have an opportunity to join in globally.
This topic has been coming up so much lately. I even have a friend who’s asked to start a group to discuss and explore her feelings around gender and power just this past week. I am new to the fire community, so I don’t know if its against protocol, but I think it would be so valuable to share with everyone in the network what comes out of this forum!
Thank you for all your comments and interest in the forum. We will do our best to keep the community updated about it. I too hope that there will be more opportunities for forums such as this in other areas in the future.