February 2019 Issue
Are you an experienced or emerging facilitator of the Work that Reconnects?
We invite you to participate in the co-creation of facilitators of the WTR Regional Gatherings.
If you haven’t already done so, please fill out this form. That way, we can keep up updated to emerging gatherings and you will be able to see other facilitators in your region.
If you already attended the calls and/or filled out the form, please read ahead.
Otherwise, for background on the project, please read here first.
We had four calls: two on April 24 and two on May 5, with a total of 66 people attending from all corners of the world! During the calls, you had the chance to meet each other, share your intentions and questions about the gatherings, and start connecting.
People called in from Australia, South Africa, UK, US (West Coast, East Coast, South and Center), Canada (East and West Coast), France, Belgium, Israel/Palestine, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. In the list, there are also people from the Philippines, Poland, Italy, Germany and Ireland…
This month, we interviewed Larry Butler, from Glasgow, Scotland
WTR: how long have you involved with the WTR?
Larry B.: I first came across the Work That Reconnects through Joanna’s books in the late 1970ies and a support network for Activists called “InterHelp” – or a similar title. It was modelled on co-counselling – peer support. After participating in several spirals, I did a WTR facilitator training with Chris Johnston, Maitrisara, Akkupa and Alex (don’t recall his last name).
WTR: What groups do you work with (example: elders, women, immigrants, refugees, youth, LGBTQ, other)?
Larry B.: Recently, I’ve worked with elders alongside Constance Washburn. I’ve co-facilitated several spirals with a group of Buddhists in Scotland. A one-day workshop with the Centre for Human Ecology. A retreat on Holy Isle in Scotland with activists from several European countries. Currently I am planning workshops with a movement called Extinction Rebellion.
This month, we have the honour to feature not one, but two great facilitators: Maggie Ziegler and Jackie Larkin are co-facilitators and deeply committed to social and environmental justice.
They offer regular workshops in Southwest British Columbia and an annual retreat on Bowen Island. Maggie and Jackie have been working together for over 20 years.
WTR: when did you become involved with the WTR?
Maggie and Jackie: Maggie began facilitating workshops based on Joanna’s first book, Despair and Empowerment in the Nuclear Age in the 1980’s. In 2001 Jackie and Maggie attended an eight-day retreat with Joanna Macy in British Columbia. We both had many years of facilitation experience and were immediately inspired by the power of The Work That Reconnects. On the spot we committed to do this work together and began to plan our first retreat. We have been co-facilitating with each other since then. Both of us have had the privilege of attending several retreats with Joanna Macy including a magical month on the Oregon coast with Seeds for the Future.
WTR: What groups do you work with?
Maggie and Jackie: We don’t focus on a particular group, and although many of the folks who attend are activists, there are also people yearning for a way to be of service to life who are somehow held back. They are diverse in age, gender and sexual orientation, but people of colour, indigenous people and men are under-represented and we are constantly examining how to be more inclusive. We use our participant -supported scholarship fund to support diversity whenever possible.
On behalf of the Work That Reconnects global community, the Weavers of the Work That Reconnects Network invite facilitators and practitioners of the Work around the world to come together in Bioregional Gatherings to be held between September and November 2019 (or if need be, online). These Gatherings will build community and support for our work in the world at this time of converging crises.
Meeting in “nodes” of our Gaian network, we aim to activate our immune response in the face of climate chaos and the collapse of living systems, as well as the ongoing racism and oppression in all its forms. Through the Work That Reconnects, we can deepen our connections with each other, share our stories and pain for the world, and nurture our creativity and resilience to serve the web of life on Earth.
The vision of the Work That Reconnects Network is to weave an international network of WTR facilitators and practitioners who support each other in offering this powerful Work more broadly in the world. These 2019 Bioregional Gatherings will build momentum for larger Work That Reconnects Gaian Gatherings held around the world, linked via video Internet connections, with the first envisioned for 2020.