Spring Update: Believing Takes Practice
A week ago today, we closed out the 2016 Gathering in Temescal Canyon, just outside Los Angeles. I can say personally, more than any other experience I’ve had with this network, this one in particular is unbelievably hard to put to words and will take some time to process, sift through, and synthesize. But rest assured, Darcy, the rest of the gathering team, and I will be hard at work doing so with a full report coming out near the end of the month.
For Darcy and I, it was an interesting experience being away from home for a month, away from partners, families, communities and Place. The experience was heightened by the task of being in service to this growing network in particular. One of the pieces that came into dialogue between us (and our Stewardship Council member extraordinaire and host Kruti Parekh) over and over again was the question: what does it actually take to create relationships that last lifetimes and beyond them? From ancestors to 65 year marriages, partners passing days apart, the answer [at least as I heard it] that seemed to shine through was and is belief. And whenever I think about belief I’m reminded of a quote from Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time: “Believing takes practice.”
When those that make up Youth Passageways gather, when we share in the energy and glory of the physical spaces, rhythms and embraces born from both joy and grief, we are nourished, filled up, renewed in our belief of what is possible and what is called for. Then we disperse, go back to our lives, back to the delicate balance of lulls and quickenings, success and opportunities for growth. This living dream of ours is so many things, yet always at its heart is the creation and sustaining of a community dedicated to a greater knowing and caring of each other in service of our lives and the health of ALL youth, and ALL communities. That belief, is not a small one, and does it ever take practice! It takes each of us keeping even the smallest part of ourselves current with it. So in that spirit of keeping current, and of all those that were called in, or lent us your intentions and blessings we thank you! Here a few announcements and shifts that came out of Los Angeles.
We say goodbye and heartfelt gratitude [for now] to Joshua Gorman as an SC member & chair, and wish him well as he pours his passion and energy into new and exciting projects. As a founding collaborator and visionary that helped give birth to Youth Passageways we wish him the best and are glad to know he won’t be far.
In turn we say goodbye & hello to Darcy Ottey! She has stepped out of her role as staff and into the new one of Stewardship Council Chair. As someone with both knowledge and experience with this network as well as many others, we couldn’t be more excited and honored! Darcy’s transition out of administrative responsibilities will take place gradually over the summer, and she may well continue to serve on a contract basis for important upcoming projects.
We also welcome Ashanti Branch to our Stewardship Council. A powerhouse of a practitioner, Ashanti also brings a steady demeanor and an objective eyee. Other changes include Clementine Wilson stepping on as our new Treasurer, and Ramon Parish joining our Leadership Circle. Check out the website for current configurations in the coming weeks.
As many of you may have read last week, we have announced the new staff position: Outreach Coordinator . We have faith that the right person will step forward to join me in this amazing adventure of bringing this network ever more into focus. Click the link above to read the job description and PLEASE, pass along and share far and wide!
The intention has been set! Next year YPW heads to the Rockies to gather in Colorado! We are tentatively looking at the fall but will have more details, information, and opportunities for involvement in the coming months. So stay tuned!
Now taking that belief into practice, the end of Spring and beginning of Summer will more than anything else be a time to highlight and evolve both our existing partnerships and growing new ones. The time has passed to secure initial major investors, and now is the time for each of us to come together in service of this shared dream with offerings and actions of all kinds. So reach out and let us know you’d like to be an active partner or let us know about others who should be connected with this network. Regardless, we’ll be in touch by email, phone, and carrier pigeon with each of you who have already made the step into partnership about what our collaborations can look like.
As for Youth Passageways and where we go from here, I can fully say that we as an organization and as a network will never be the same. And in keeping with the Wrinkle in Life maxims: as Mrs. Whatsit said, “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” Los Angeles gave birth to something new. What that is, and how it will be nurtured, is now up to us all.
In Belief and Practice,