SolSeed Services

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The SolSeed Services are regular gatherings designed to be spiritual but not religious, creating a space for the appreciation of Life, of each other, and of the sacred. The goal is to create and nurture a sort of "spiritual community."

The first four services, beginning in February 2010, were sizeable in-person gatherings in Portland, Oregon. Each of these had a "seed" topic that guides discussion as well as choices of music, poetry, and other creative aspects.

Then we decided to reduce the frequency of such gatherings to four times a year, at the Solstices and Equinoxes, and create weekly videoconference-based services for the core membership. The first of these short weekly services was on October 17, 2010.

Weekly Service Calls

Service Call December 03, 2010

List of services

Service September 22, 2010 (Fall Equinox) - seed: Equanimity

Service June 5, 2010 - seed: Meditation

Service March 20, 2010 (Spring Equinox) - seed: Balance

Service February 6, 2010 - seed: Empathy

Discussion at the Longest Night Festival

Participants

Discussion

  • Keith: We could have karaoke set to space and growing/life imagery
  • Art: Organizations/structures to shape the social architecture to give room for every voice to be heard
    • Brandon: Learn from ToastMasters
    • Mickki: Quaker meetings
      • Knowledge that there is a sacredness to speaking
      • Speak intentionally (is this knowledge really meant for the group?)
  • Steve: L. Ron Hubbard treated religion as a business model
  • Keith: Figure out how more women can get their concerns into the story
    • Generative ideas rather than just starships
      • Ben: Tell a story about a wonderful community that lives on a starship?
  • Judy: My story about singing in a choir and helping this corner of the world
    • Via audience donations that all go to a chosen beneficiary
    • Yearly "iSing with Cake" event is a cake auction to support the choir itself
    • Brandon: I like this model
  • Art: What is the context/purpose for the services
    • Aesthetically pleasing services
    • Bring community together
      • Judy: The best services I've been to were ones where I could feel like potentially part of a community of the people in the room
      • Art: Sense of belonging
    • Ground you in the now
    • Give meaning
      • Steve: But what does that mean?
      • Mickki: Give a space or a vessel to be filled
      • Steve: Opposite of other religious leaders who created some meaning first in order to pull people in
  • Keith: Individual productive work during a service while singing (or talking) would attract me
    • Art: Different from a work bee session, where the work replaces the discourse
    • Brandon: I like Keith's image of a woman holding a baby while working on building a starship (or sitting in the captain's chair on its bridge)
  • Mickki: What is the content or inquiry for the community at the service?
    • Incorporating co-creation into the structure of a service
    • Judy: Have a "seed" for each service to which everyone contributes (wisdom, a story, music, etc)
    • Steve: Continuity/reliability of structure (Art: and schedule) from one meeting to the next
      • Rituals to begin and end service
      • Announcement time for what will be happening in the community
      • Some part of structure that is aesthetically focused (ex. singing)
      • Space within structure for interchange
        • People talking about what matters to them
        • Art: Making meaning together
      • Art: Informal social space just afterward, particularly related to food
  • Models to look at
    • Mickki: look at Jehovah's Witnesses' Theocratic Ministry School meetings
      • Anyone can be assigned to deliver a specific piece of content
      • Very rigid, but still some room to be creative
      • Opportunity for feedback (because speakers are trainee ministers)
      • Steve: We could have readings without an actual scripture
        • Mickki: Readings could range from transcendent to utterly practical
    • Art: Christian Science
      • Ministry serves terms in different positions, usually with elections
      • Testimony meeting: space for anybody to share stories about what's working
        • As opposed to "trauma sharing," i.e. complaining together
  • Art: Twice a month is a bare minimum in terms of community continuity
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