From SolSeed

Jump to: navigation, search

< Group Experiences


2009.02.07 (Arthur) Call - Agenda

  • Opening words - 5 mins
  • Check in with everyone - 10 mins
  • Deeper topic conversation - 30 mins
  • What's next / homework / assign next call - 10 mins
  • Closing words - 5 mins


Circle of Love

He drew a circle which cut me out,
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout,

But love and I had the wit to win,
We drew a circle which took him in.

-Edwin Markhatti

Arthur's sharing about the opening words: I don't know where or how I learned this poem as a child, but the last lines have stayed with me and had a profound impact. One of the key turning points in my adolescent development was inspired in part by those lines.

I chose to reach out and meet people (at camp & at school) regardless of feeling shy, awkward, or uncomfortable. Love was simply more important than those feelings. This was the root of a major personality shift in confidence and comfort.

I think the challenge for our church/movement/community is to learn how to draw this kind of circle. A circle does form a boundary or a membrane of sorts, but that does not mean it is intended to keep people out.


  • Brandon WaterProject will make a phone call and be persistent
  • Mickki "grow local colorado" 600 new gardens in Denver (behind on building the website) balancing Business Alliance with desire to build website and pass on (yay ... there is ease in connecting)
  • Ted "theme of in community again" (met with Shelley and Stacey)
  • Shelley (conflict about outreach when not reading personal email (managing personal life) inspired by water project ... more this week perhaps ... personal issue "feeling inadequate" about not having ideas (less this week))
  • Arthur ... lots of engergy into local capital summit (spirals and flows even when a community is short on money) outreach "flow principles" even without calling them that explicitly

Today's Deeper Topic: Circles of Participation

As we develop our own wisdom, knowledge and practices, specialized language will emerge to embody it. That kind of language is a necessary shorthand for us to communicate effectively with each other and get stuff done.

However, it is also inaccessible and just plain weird to newcomers. (such as Landmark language, or software shorthand) In fact, there are many levels beyond newcomers, each of whom we'd like to embrace rather than exclude.

I want to explore these circles or spheres of engagement, because I think there is real value in inviting new participation while also being responsible for the boundaries it entails.

We tend to be timid about boundaries, and think in social contexts, that they're bad. But it takes boundaries to define flow and membranes to transform it. Unbounded flow is random-motion-heat-death. However, as we explore these boundaries, I also expect Brandon to keep us grounded in the spirit of transparency & openness.

See Drawing at: http://mail.geekgene.com/media/Spheres.png

Newcomer Participant
Event Exposure Invitation
Relevance Curiosity, Intrigue Benefit
Want/Need Good Vibe See an Impact
Barrier Ignorance Opportunity
Threshold Visibility Taking Action
Language/Message Meaning, Possibility Make a difference, no further commitment required
Currency [Info Only] Ack. of Participation

Circles of Participation

  • Newcomers: open to all who wish? to participate or be exposed to activites of church
--Threshold: Ignorance/Information - You don't know what you don't know. Once exposed to SolSeed or project or church, then you're a newcomer - new conversations are possible now. The choice for continued participation is completely up to the individual.
  • Participants: engage in community projects while not yet members
--Threshold: Opportunity/Action - They are actively enaged in projects supported by/within the community. They do not need to be identifying as members to be involved. Information about the church is not hidden from them, but they don't have to pursue that to be able to participate.
  • Members: become members when they self-identify with the organization as members (Membership may involve a small recurring contribution & badge of of some sort (I belong / membership card))
  • Practitioners: actively enaged in projects / services / have taken on some responsibilities. Serve on committees, etc.
  • Mastery: have chosen a ministry path, are are pursuing it
  • Devotee: are devoting the bulk life energy to path / staff of church
  • Holder: embodiment of church; holder of vision; entrusted with leadership from congregation; community leader and elder

Becoming a member: Starts with acknowledging that you can't do it alone; choosing to join a community and to co-create in community

Sample Pledge: in symbolizing my interdependence with the community of life, I submit my welfare to this community, and promise to be a partner in the creating our shared wellfullness

Future Session: Ministerial Tracks:

  • Environment / nature (natural systems, biodiversity, study of ecosystems)
  • Individuals (interpersonal communication, counseling)
  • Community (group process, mediation, governance, facilitation, group dynamic stuff)
  • Business (flows of cross-fertilization, ideas, value, etc. resource management)
  • Youth (everything related to young people, including youth leadership programs)
  • Food system (planting, preserving, nutrition, serving)
  • Health & wellness
  • Energy
  • Ecovillages (as ministerial training grounds / immersive internships)
  • Education / culture / learning / stories / history / language
  • Building the purpose-driven social critter


  • Arthur: Share spreadsheet
  • Brandon: Call water project people again
  • Shelley: Asking friends what they care about and what they see is missing in spiritual communities of which they are a part
  • Mickki: Launch the GrowLocalColorado.org site and schedule trainings to support others in building/caring for site
  • All: look at spreadsheet and come to next week's call with own reflections
  • preferred emails: brandon@thesanders.us, shelley@thesanders.us, ted@chicagohumanist.org
  • All: Creating the space/listening for other people to share why what we're doing (church, work, projects) is inspiring to them and why it matters.

Closing Words

The Alchemy of Love
you come to us
from another world
from beyond the stars
and void of space.
transcendent, pure,
of unimaginable beauty,
bringing with you
the essence of love
you transform all
who are touched by you.
mundane concerns,
troubles, and sorrows
dissolve in your presence,
bringing joy
to ruler and ruled
to peasant and king
you bewilder us
with your grace.
all evils
transform into
you are the master alchemist.
you light the fire of love
in earth and sky
in heart and soul
of every being.
through your loving
existance and nonexistance merge.
all opportunities unite.
all that is profane
becomes sacred again.
Personal tools