The Art of Hosting

I once heard it said "the quality of our lives is in direct proportion to the quality of questions we ask ourselves." Tonight approximately ten of us will gather to ask ourselves in what ways we want to further activate the New Story (on Cape Ann and in the larger bio-region). It will be an evening of asking powerful and passionate questions rather than an evening of making plans, hatching ideas, or taking action. This is how we will begin to live the Art of Hosting pattern here on Cape Ann. I believe the poet Rilke had it right when he invited us to "live within the questions" rather than to press for answers too soon. He invited us to live with the questions like favorite books written in a foreign language. He knew we are often not quite ready to live the answers - and the point of life is to live everything. In this conversation area I invite harvesting from our gatherings as well as the insights of those who will take the journey with us through the Ning site. Here's a toast to powerful questions that increase the quality of our lives!

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Beautiful! I can feel this feeding other local circles -- the felt ripple of the Cape Ann folks that inspires others.

Yes!
I read the title/question in my email and the thought came up: "one elegant, simple step at the time"; meaning to sense deeply what is the right timing to do things... not to soon indeed...
Please harvest what has happened, as food and inspiration for other circles!
Some questions that move in me now and from our evening last Wednesday.
10 of us gathered. Susan asked, "Why have we come together?" This seems to be a really core question.
The evening was not really about answering, but asking. For me a willingness to stay in the not knowing and see what reveals itself to us.

As I write now, some questions are in me.
How are we already living the new story?
How might we live the AoH pattern, collectively, in community, grounded in place?
What is the underlying principle that is holding us, asking to be named?
Is the principle of goodness, of possibility, of radical hope, even when we cannot see what the future holds, part of what is emerging communally now? If so, why, how?

Here are a couple of photos. Some of our collaborators had already hit the road, so to speak. :)

Hi - I shared this via email last evening, and offer it here now =

I am working with a small group within the United Church of Christ to encourage congregations to become more accessible to persons with disabilities, in both physical plant and attitudes. We have a lot of materials and resources, but so far not a good way to access them (ironic...). So this little group is seeking to hatch a process (and a product which describes the process) to access the resources already available to assist with the work.

The following is what emerged very quickly from me this morning, just before another phone conversation:



DOING THE DANCE:

Hear the call

Answer

Make a commitment

Find friends and colleagues

Get together

Break the bread

Pray

Ask the questions

Look around/feel around: what's good, what's needed to become better

Articulate the vision

Ask the questions - How to get from here to there?

Play

Get together

Break the bread

Pray

Examine the space

Examine the attitudes

Research the resources

Play

Get together

Break the bread

Pray

Ask the questions

Widen the circle

Deepen the commitment

Draw a map: what are the places along the way of getting from here to there?

Determine the best thing to do to start.

Play

Start somewhere. It's all a circle anyway and can be entered at any point.

Do something.

Get together

Break the bread

Pray

Ask the questions

Play

Together



After I wrote it, I could see that it is for me a place and way to express some of the spirit of the Humans Being event in this UCC context - it wasn't done consciously, but it's there - it was well received by the little group, and our work is to flesh out (incarnate, even!) some of the phrases with some more specifics -

So thanks, everybody, for all that was offered into that Humans Being experience - and these continuing offerings - Peggy

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