Tuesday, November 11, 2008

January Youth Meeting in Portland

An invitation to the Anthroposophical Communityto learn about and support a meeting of young people: At the moment a meeting is being prepared which will take place in Portland, Oregon over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial weekend (January 16-19). The announcement of the meeting demands a brief preface. Imagine a tree. There is one root shooting over to Dornach to a small building nestled below the Goetheanum. This small building houses the Youth Section of the Anthroposophical movement/society. It has been the location of events called Initiative Meetings. These meetings have been occasions where younger people who have been inspired all the way through to deed by some ideal come together. Some of the young people here in North America have been present at these meetings where presentations are made and discussions are had about taking initiative. Some on our continent have been wishing to pursue something similar here in North America. Every few months a group of young people across North America gather in an audio space and hear of each other's activities, strivings, challenges and questions. These conference calls are where the idea of manifesting a North American Initiative Meeting began to grow feet. Within these conversations questions are often raised of what the significance of the Anthroposophical youth movement is. What is at the heart of our work? How should it be organized? How can we be visible and available for young people who are seeking and striving toward the same inspirations which we are? Within the discussion of these questions is a feeling and striving to take our work to a new level and this is the second root leading to the gathering in January.Young people who have participated in conferences and events within the Anthroposophical movement and Society might have found themselves as sole representatives of their generation, or one of few. They will have heard the earnest and, at times, anxious questioning of where the other young people are. I have had time to live with and think about this question and have come to see a reply. They are in the North east. They are in rural Canada. They are on the West coast. They are in the South east. I am not speaking of thousands, but many and from many directions. They have great questions and inspirations of finding a living culture, societal reforms, art, community, a secure and life affirming spiritual world view. They are full of divinations, will and fire. Some might feel at this point, "Young people are so dramatic and are always exaggerating things!". I must agree! And yet, I have not even reached my point. Something new and redemptive is taking place in this Sturm und Drang. The young generation is not fleeing society and the older generation to the woods, to India, to the monastery or traveling village of a musical sub- culture. They look to those preceding them and see many burning lamps fueled by the same oil which gives them their own light. Yet the light of this older generation, how calming and informing, how instructive and steady. tried by the tempests of life and still aflame. The youth are making time and space to witness this light with it is contagious endurance. The regular meetings at Heartbeet Life Sharing conference, the Think OutWord initiative in New England, the international Network M, which began in California, and many other initiatives are testimony to this letter. During the meeting in January members from the many projects on the North American continent will gather in Portland, Oregon to meet and hear of one another's work and seek out more clarity of what the place of the youth section/movement is within the Anthroposophical society on one hand and the greater world on the other. Many of the people who wish to attend this meeting will be traveling great distances and we are asking anyone who wants to support them to contribute to our Scholarship Fund. For more information about our event and about the open community evenings, or to share your work with us, please contact us at na.initiativemeeting@youthsection.org.

Thank you on behalf of the planning group. Cari Burdett

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