GVIN-TAKE organizational meeting notes

Hello!

This is aaron - it was so nice to see you yesterday, and i so greatly appreciate all of your help. i am sending this email (and blog) out not only to keep everyone informed who couldn't come what happened, but also to remind you of your "homework" for the next meeting.

But first, i should express my personal profound satisfaction: what we accomplished in establishing this group not only satisfied our purpose for yesterday's meeting, but accomplishes the purpose of each of our practices.

i have come to believe, upon experience and direct observation, that a single temple can shelter the shrines of many gods, that a single fire can give sufficient light and warmth to all who would gather around it, that a meal (however meager) is more enjoyable and satisfactory when shared. There is reason to trust that the sacrifices we make through discomforts in gathering together are not only necessary but will result in success.

Yesterday, i saw no enemies, i saw only men and women who loved one another. i saw Christians and Atheists embrace. And free of fear for the first time, everyone was overcome by joy. i can proudly say, i am Christian. And i am Atheist. i am Buddhist. i am Hindu. i am Muslim. i can proudly say, i am your neighbor, and your friend.

it was comforting beyond words to understand, perhaps fully for the first time, that our goals of practice are not contradictory. The love we share can have no contradiction. We are able to fully embrace our differences. It is possible for our greater community to simultaneously worship many gods, in so many traditions, and by doing so learn from and teach one another.

And it is appropriate, too, to especially thank both Paul and Carlene of American Lutheran Church for their hospitality, and leadership.

NEXT MEETINGS

Core Group: We have scheduled meetings to occur EVERY month, on the 4th Sunday, at 2PM. We are going to hold the meeting at a different location every month. The next meeting, however, will be scheduled at the same location: American Lutheran Church, 631 26 1/2 Rd, Grand Junction, CO 81506

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

CORE MEETINGS. GVIN TAKE will have a "core" executive group representative of all member organizations, meeting on the 4th Sunday of every month at 2pm. Location will rotate among member organizations. Additionally, meetings will be regularly scheduled for the public.

PUBLIC MEETINGS.PUBLIC MEETINGS. Each member will host at least one event at which the general public is invited, and the members of member organizations are especially invited.

PURPOSE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS. These meetings will facilitate friendship through secular or non-religious formats of social gathering. This will best promote a GVIN-TAKE by providing an opportunity to learn how to get along with others who are different.

ASSIGNMENTS FOR FIRST MEETING.
Each participant is directed to accomplish the following before February 25.

1. Invite at least one other religious leader to the next core meeting.
2. Invite one member of your organization who would have some reservations about attending a core meeting.

3. Plan a public non-religious event before the end of 2018 with AT LEAST ONE ALTERNATE DATE (in case of conflicts with other planned events or holidays). The event should be designed to provide a suitable environment to facilitate friendship, and promote a theological and knowledge exchange. The event should be free of cost, so that members of the public need not pay to attend and benefit from the experience. If you can, email aaron with the details ahead of time, or bring them to the meeting.

4. Try to meet with at least one other participant in the meeting before the next meeting for an exchange of jargon, traditions, and exploration.

AGENDA FOR NEXT MEETING.

1. Schedule the calendar of public events. Members interested in directly adding their own events contact aaron.

2. Plan semi-annual panels for public education of interfaith subjects. Members interested in sharing sermons or lessons on the GVIN website contact aaron.

3. Plan an annual public meeting for all members of all member organizations to gather for a “Love Festival.” (Love Fest was the working title at the close of the last meeting, and is subject to change - though, for what it is worth, it is my (aaron's) opinion is that it is a good name).

4. Develop strategies to help another de-escalate confrontations with members of our own practice, and how to argue without offense: what are the unique means by which each of our traditions respectfully debates and questions?

5. Develop strategies to practice together without offense or exclusion (a type of offense). How can Christians pray with an atheist or non-theist who does not pray?

6. Develop potential strategies so that the National Day of Prayer and the National Day of Reason do not antagonize, but collaborate.

If you would like to add something to the agenda, please email aaron.

LIST OF ATTENDEESThough this was not the first official meeting, this is the list of attendees (alphabetical order):

Paul and Carlene, American Lutheran Church
aaron, Ashram of Loka Hatha Yoga, Vice-Chair GVIN
Kellene, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Secretary, GVIN 
Carla and Mike, Colorado Center for Conscious Learning
Bob and Lisa, Dharma Mountain Zen Center
Vic, Evangelical Ministerial Alliance
Galen, Evangelical Ministerial Alliance
Dave, the Gathering
Sherry, Global Heart, Chairwoman GVIN
Jim, Spirit of Life Christian Fellowship, Evangelical Ministerial Alliance
Anne, Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers

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