Meeting people where they are

Meeting people where they are

27 January 2020 Laura Scappaticci & Ann Arbor 4430 views

The Anthroposophical Society in the usa seeks to meet people where they are, including on the internet. But direct meetings from person to person are equally important, such as for instance the Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting from 10 to 13 October that attracted almost 900 people.

In the US we are committed to meeting the next generation where they are. This means we must show up in new ways. First and foremost, we greet them with a warm smile and a willingness to listen without judgement. Deep listening opens us to the presence of a being of love that can only enter our spaces when we are truly present for each other. For this reason, we consider biography work a key ingredient in all of our in-person gatherings.

We create opportunities for sacred conversations about 21st century issues like social justice, earth justice, and human connection. We invite young people into leadership roles at our events and in our organizational structures. To compliment this, we are committed to using technology to create social spaces, and offer free digital meeting spaces for youth. We just hosted our first online Holy Nights gatherings with nearly 900 registrants of all ages from around the globe. Small groups were created in the online space for sharing and reflection. The warmth and joy was palpable.

Personal meetings and live streaming

Our agm and national conference in Atlanta, Georgia was an example of an integration of meaningful in-person encounters, youth led work, and technological opportunities. Atlanta is in the heart of "the South, "a part of our country known for its hospitality, diversity, and history of racial oppression. With this in mind, social justice was not a side-note or something that felt separate from our work. Martin Luther King, Jr and Marjorie Spock strengthened our theme of Facing Each Other: Freedom, Responsibility, and Love, while Steiner's hope for a true and unsentimental love guided us. Two people from the next generation, Andrea De La Cruz from the Goetheanum Youth Section and Patrick Kennedy from the Christian Community led keynote conversations, asking us to be ready with open minds, a depth of practice, and creative inner work in order to meet ourselves and others. These keynotes were live-streamed for anyone in the country and world to view.

What affects one, affects all

We invite you to work with two of our conference opening passages as a study for what is possible-and what is imperative-as we move towards our centennial year.

«lnjustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly» Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham jail, April 16, 1963.

«There is only one sure hope, and it has not been tried: To base both our understanding and our practice on esoterics. For esoterics alone makes it possible to see human beings whole, to discover them in their heavenly as well as in their earthly aspect, and, in the light of that total picture, to recognize what makes them worthy of esteem and love» Marjorie Spock of the Moral Artistry Group, 1983.