|altar in progress for Buddha and Mary|
After five years as president of this amazing group, I knew it was time to make way for new leadership that could be shared and that could reflect the dynamic presence of spirit when this group gathers.
Some of the comments and phrases harvested from our World Cafe conversation:
How has Women's Interfaith been meaningful for you?
A place like no other where you can share deep conversation.
A place to 'be,' not do.
"A place where I could create altars, create programs..."
Incredible food that is nurturing and created with love.
I could learn about different faiths and traditions, as well as 'no faith.'
A place of trust where I could be weak and vulnerable and feel supported.
Rituals that celebrated the seasons.
Singing, dancing, creativity and the arts.
A place to speak the truth.
Being mentored, learning from the wisdom of other women.
Universality, the common thread running through all our separate traditions rising to the fore.
Strong presence of Spirit when sitting together in a circle.
Looking back, here's some highlights of collaborations and outreach:
Seeing 'Heroic Girlz' in an early performance and lending support to this group with fiscal sponsorship.
Nurturing the sprout of 'Youth Alive's' Rite of Passage program.
Hearing PAX foreign exchange students share their traditions.
Supporting International Women's Day and Berkshire Festival of Women Writers.
Initiatives that helped women in the Congo, Turkey and here in the Berkshires.
More inter-generational sharing and new programs wait to be called forth.
I feel great gratitude to Dr. Alison Stokes, founder of this group; to the long line of women who served on the board over the years, to the amazing array of women who presented programs, to all those who came to share their lovingly created food, and their heart and soul. A special thanks to our administrators over the past ten years: Sandra Beer, Eileen Quinn, and Alison Gaines. Volunteer extraordinaire Laighne, thank you, as well as the many women who help greet, set up and make the space new again.
With much excitement I look forward to supporting the new wave of shared leadership that arose at our meeting.
Amber Chand explained, 'The threshold is a strong place to be.'
And so we move, from strength to strength.