Yesterday our "Conversations Curriculum Development Task Force" met for the first time in a long while. Our last completed assignment, the “Saving Centennial Mission” wound down a number of months ago. We have since been primarily focused on our Habitat For Healing Remodeling Project, getting our New Horizons' Harpers Ferry Retreat Center office set up and operating once again and for me personally, regaining the joys of country living.
Developing and activating our two interconnected blog sites have also been major endeavors of the past several months. I hope, by now, that this one as well as my personal site, “Anastasia The Storyteller,” are beginning to offer something of value to visitors. If you like what we have been providing, most of the thanks goes to our board member, Lisa Boyer. She is responsible for developing both blogs. Lisa has, not only, managed the intricacies of designing them, but has been ever present in creating their “eye” appeal. If you like our “style,” it is almost pure Lisa!
As far as our main program goes, "Coffee House Conversations," we have not simply been living off our laurels. Yet, the project at Centennial Memorial United Methodist certainly spoiled us somewhat. For that project we got to use almost every single thing we have in our peace-building bag of tricks. It was such a multi-faceted, fulfilling project that I haven’t quite assimilated all that I/we've learned from the “awe” the Small "Zones Of Peace" Conversations Team co-created with that congregation or the great progress for the congregation that emerged out of the effort.
Where could we hope to be assigned next to replicate what we accomplished there? The rewards a memorable success brings; mission accomplished, the sense of a job well-done – and – the shared recognition that an experience of note has occurred are a “tough act to follow. Nonetheless, now we are beginning to plan and “rehearse” for our next “Conversations” program. It, too, will bring rewards, but of a slightly different variety.
For one thing, our next program will be with an international group. (While the Centennial project was completely local it was no less important .) Our upcoming project will be “Conflict Resolution & Anger Management #101.” Here again, storytelling within our “Coffee House Conversations” format will take center stage. In our experience, nothing surpasses the impact of “storytelling” when it comes to breaking through the barriers diversity can create. Again we will be presenting this program, which seems to be developing into an annual tradition, for the UNESCO Center of Peace Model UN Summer Camp (Friday, July 23, 2010).
This will be our third presentation of the program for this organization. Once again, as we did on a local level for the Centennial Memorial United Methodist Church, we are set to achieve our goals; community development, global or local, through conversations that feature storytelling. With global intent or a local focus, people finding a path to one another through the sharing of personal stories accomplishes more, at times, than all the theory and rhetoric combined.
From Anastasia in the mountains, Where, unfortunately on this hot July day, our abundance of trees are unable to successfully work out a healthy relationship with the humidity.