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Healthy ways people get together, Feb. 2018 retreat

Join us for a retreat on “Healthy ways people get together”

Friday, February 9, 2018 6:00 p.m., to noon on Sunday, February 11

The participants. Hopework invites you to join us as one of about 16 people known to be active in their communities and who have valuable experience participating in cooperative groups. Roughly equal numbers from southwest Minnesota and the Twin Cities metropolitan area are being invited.

The theme: Healthy ways people get together in small groups to cooperate around an activity or project. The conversations over this February 9 – 11 weekend will relate in one way or another to our experiences of, and hopes for, getting together to cooperate with others in small groups in ways that nourish us and help us create ripples of good in the world, in ways that can shift us toward a more compassionate and cooperative society.

People get together in healthy ways to cooperate for a wide range of purposes, from work teams on the job, to governance of and projects in community organizations, to games, to athletic teams, to cooking, to singing, to study groups, to writing groups … .  We hope and expect that the stories about healthy cooperating groups that emerge during the weekend will come from the whole wide range of possibilities.

Story circle prompts at the retreat might be “a time when your participation in such a space made an important difference to you,” “a time when you helped design and facilitate such a space, and how it turned out,” “a story that gives a window on a situation in your current community where opportunities to participate in such-and-such kind(s) of cooperative groups are making or could make a difference for others and make things go better.”

Costs and sliding fee. The actual cost of the retreat, for those who spend both nights and partake of all five meals, is $120. (For those who participate and take meals, but do not spend the night, the cost is $40.) We recognize the fact that people have different abilities to pay, and we are committed that the retreat be affordable for everyone regardless of ability to pay. You are welcome to pay less than your costs, or more.

The Ardes Shea Memorial Fund. This fund stands behind the retreat and, in fact, the retreat is already paid for by the fund. Let us explain. Ardes died in May 2016 at age 93. She had been a regular participant in Philosophy Camp (which is held at Shalom Hill Farm), spending a week there each summer from 2003-2015, and for 40 years she was an active member and supporter of community organizations and projects in her home community of Forest City, MN. At the time of her funeral those who knew and loved her donated about $1,200 to further Ardes’s expressed wish for the future that more people would experience conversations in circles. We encourage you to think of whatever you choose to pay for this retreat as a contribution to the Ardes Shea Memorial Fund, which we will use to make possible future retreats that bring together people from southwest Minnesota and people from the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Shalom Hill Farm is a modern retreat center about three hours from the Twin Cities near Windom, MN. Most rooms will accommodate two people in twin or double beds; linens and towels are provided. All meals will be provided. Please let John Wallace know your special dietary needs or preferences: 612-247-4903 or john@hopework.org For directions, see: http://shalomhillfarm.org/directions

The Shalom Hill Farm web site has directions: http://shalomhillfarm.org/directions

Shalom Hill Farm
42194 County Road 3
Windom, MN  56101
507-831-2232 (Office)

John Wallace

Retreat to reflect on the recent election cycle

Join us for a retreat to reflect together on the recent election cycle

Friday, February 3, 6 p.m., to noon on Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shalom Hill Farm, Windom, Minnesota 

The recent election cycle has caused a great deal of pain and revealed a great deal of pain that was already present before the election cycle began. People all over our society (and in each of our communities) are feeling not heard, not respected, not welcome. The social fabric has been revealed to be thin, frayed, torn. Reweaving is needed. There are many wounds, new and old; healing and reconciliation are needed. People who come to the retreat will be sharing their experiences about all of this, and exploring their ideas for how the reweaving, healing, reconciliation might begin. We pray that the spirit of John XXIII will be present among us: Let dialogue begin by seeking concordances, not differences.

 

A word about financial support for the retreat. The Ardes Shea Memorial Fund makes this retreat possible. Ardes died in May 2016. She had been a regular participant in Philosophy Camp (which is held at Shalom Hill Farm), spending a week each summer from 2003-2015, and for 40 years an active member and supporter of community organizations and events in her home community of Forest City, MN. The Ardes Shea Memorial Fund arose from her wish and passion and dream that: (a) more people would experience conversations in circles; (b) people would plant more trees; (c) people would listen more to children; and (d) homework would be about home.

Shalom Hill Farm is a modern retreat center about three hours from the Twin Cities near Windom, MN. Most rooms will accommodate two people in twin or double beds; linens and towels are provided. All meals will be provided. Please let John Wallace know your special dietary needs or preferences: 612-247-4903 or john@hopework.org

Bring warm clothes. There are trails on acreage around the farm that can be suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is also a sauna on the property.

Please let John Wallace know if you need driving directions to Shalom Hill Farm.

Cost: We are also asking that participants contribute to financial support for the retreat. We recognize the fact that people have different abilities to pay, and we are committed that the retreat be available to everyone regardless of ability to pay. $50 per person is a little less than half of the cost of the retreat. We are hoping that contributions from participants will add up to an average of $50 per person. You are welcome to pay less than $50, or more. Any excess of contributions over the half-cost of the retreat will be added to the Ardes Shea Memorial Fund and used to provide support for Ardes’s dream.

Payment by cash, check, or credit card will be accepted at the retreat.

Contribute to the Ardes Shea Retreat Scholarship Fund


Ardes Shea

December 23, 1922 – May 24, 2016
Resided in Forest City, MN

Ardes Memmott was born in the Mormon ranch town of Scipio, Utah in 1922. She grew up working hard on the family ranch outside of town, where she learned to hate chickens. She was a good student who loved to argue. She hated injustice: the ordinary favoritism shown to boys over girls and the petty cruelties inflicted on weaker kids. She dreamed of a real career, went off to college to study science. The war soon interrupted this plan, and Ardes worked in defense industries throughout the war, including one year at the Hanford nuclear site, the setting of her book, It’s Classified. During the war, working in Salt Lake, she met Jim Shea at the Coconut Grove Ballroom. They married on V.J. Day, 1945, and moved closer to Jim’s home, a farm near Enderlin, North Dakota. It was a shock to Ardes to be so exposed after having always been protected by mountains. The couple taught at small, isolated, frequently snowbound schools. They tried farming on one of the Shea family farms, just as the horse was being replaced by the tractor.

In 1953, Jim and Ardes and their son Peter moved to a 17-acre farm near Forest City, Minnesota. Jim taught school in nearby towns. Ardes took care of the livestock and raised a big garden, from which they sold produce, mostly potatoes, cucumbers, and sweet corn. Their second child, Pat, was born in 1956. Ardes was an innovative gardener. She tried new ideas in the garden, and developed the first Christmas tree farm in the area. She was also a tireless maker: quilts, rugs, pickles, seed paintings, dollhouses. She remade the farm, building up the soil and shaping a living space sheltered by trees.

Ardes cared about her community. She became an unofficial advisor to Father Fred Fink of the Church of St. Gertrude, helping to shape the religious education program and to think through the meaning of the Vatican II renewal. She worked with kids: in Great Books, as a catechism teacher, and as a substitute teacher. She was also active in DFL politics, a member of a hospital oversight board, and one of the founding members of the Forest City Stockade Committee.

After Jim retired, she and Jim wrote their life stories as part of the Litchfield Area Adult Writers Group. They stayed close to home, enjoying their grandchildren (Becky, Oliver, Kathryn, Tim, and May), and taking an active interest in the life of the Forest City community – and in the wildlife around the farm. After Jim died in 1997, Ardes remained on the farm, living with enthusiasm and spirit. For 14 years, she was on the teaching staff of a University of Minnesota course, “Lives Worth Living;” she said it kept her convinced that world was in good hands. Despite breathing problems and general frailty, she remained independent and in good health until diagnosed with esophageal cancer in March 2016. After saying goodbye to family and friends, completing a book, and explaining her hopes for the future, she died, quite suddenly, on May 24, 2016 at age 93.

Hopework LLC is the suggested beneficiary for memorials; it carries forward her values of inclusiveness and humane education.

Hopework is a limited liability company formed by the founders of Philosophy Camp, where Ardes was part of the leadership team for 14 years. Donations to Hopework in her name will support work that she identified as important. As funds permit, such donations will support:

Learning circles, story circles, and other group strategies that ensure that everyone has a voice in discussions and in decision-making.

Sensible homework in elementary and secondary schools, homework that is “about home,” that is, about problems and possibilities that students face in their everyday life.

Planting of trees in ways that promote human happiness and the health of the land and of the community.

Children’s independent philosophical thinking and the development of their confidence as thinkers.

Donations to the Ardes Shea Memorial Fund may be made by check made out to Hopework LLC and sent to 2650 University Ave W, Apt. 315, Saint Paul, MN 55114 or via PayPal using the donation button below.

Creative Community Spaces, Jan. 2016 Retreat

Creative Community Spaces

What are creative community spaces? Those places where people of all ages can come together for food, dance, theater, music, song, crafts, and conversation, for starters. Creative community spaces help us thrive at every age! What creative community spaces do you long for, or are grateful to have in your life?

Join us for a retreat at Shalom Hill Farm, January 8-10, 2016 in the style of Hopework’s first non-profit, self-organized retreats. We will spend the weekend forming and enjoying a community, sharing meals, conversations, walks on the snowy prairie, and story circles with prompts to bring lift up our past experiences of creative community spaces and what they provide in our lives. Some of these experiences may have been in what Myles Horton calls “islands of decency,” and some not so much but still experiences from which we took important lessons.

My job is to provide opportunities for people to grow (not to make them grow, because no one can do that), to provide a climate which nurtures islands of decency, where people can learn in such a way that they continue to grow. (Horton, The Long Haul, p. 133)

WHEN: Arrive before 6 PM Friday, January 8. Leave by 12 noon Sunday, January 10, 2016.

WHERE: Shalom Hill Farm, a retreat facility near Windom, MN (map) (directions)

COST (per person): Sliding fee scale according to your means

$140 – Cost plus scholarship another
$110 – Cost
$80 – Below cost

    Fee includes:

  • 2 nights lodging in a private room with shared bathroom across the hall
  • 5 home-cooked meals with your assistance (according to ability)
  • Visits with the chickens, sheep, and llama
  • Prairie walks and use of the sauna.

SCHEDULE

Friday, January 8

1-5 p.m. — Arrive at Shalom Hill Farm, check into private room, and explore
6 p.m. — Evening meal
7:30 p.m. — Gather in the library for a welcome and introduction to the retreat.

Saturday, January 9

7 a.m. — Beverages and breakfast buffet.
9 a.m. — Gather in the library for the morning circle.
12 p.m. — Noon meal.
1 p.m. — Afternoon activity.
6 p.m. — Evening meal
7:30 p.m. — Evening circle in the library

Sunday, January 10

7 a.m. — Beverages and breakfast items buffet.
9 a.m. — Final circle to close the retreat.
12 p.m. — Leave Shalom Hill Farm, lunch on your own enroute home.

REGISTRATION

This retreat filled to capacity on Dec. 16

Telling Our Stories: Practices for listening and learning, Summer 2015

Telling Our Stories:
Practices for listening and learning

WHEN: June 14-29, 2015 (Sunday afternoon through Friday noon)

WHERE: Shalom Hill Farm, a retreat facility near Windom, MN (map) (directions)

COST (per person):
Before May 15 – $550 single occupancy; $500 double occupancy
After May 15 – $600 single occupancy; $550 double occupancy

  • 14 home-cooked meals
  • 5 nights lodging in a private room with shared bathroom across the hall
  • Opportunity to provide input to retreat agenda, discussions, and activities
  • Assist according to ability with daily meal preparation and clean up
  • Walks, field trips, local sight seeing according to interest and ability

SCHEDULE

Sunday, June 14

1-5 p.m. — Arrive at Shalom Hill Farm, check into private room, and explore
6 p.m. — Evening meal (join a cooking team or clean-up team)
7:30 p.m. — Gather in the library for a welcome and introduction to the retreat.

Monday – Thursday, June 15 – 18

7 a.m. — Coffee, tea and breakfast items in the kitchen. (Choose from a selection of fruits, farm-fresh eggs, breads, granola, yogurt)
9 a.m. — Gather in the studio to plan the day’s flow.
9:30 a.m. — Move to the library for the morning circle and discussion on topics related to the power of stories in our lives.
12 p.m. — Noon meal (join a cooking team or clean-up team).
1 p.m. — Walks, talks, field trips, and activities as interests emerge.
6 p.m. — Evening meal with an evening circle to follow; sharing of experiences, presentations, resources, processes. Refine agenda for the next day.

Friday, June 19

7 a.m. — Coffee and breakfast items in the kitchen.
9 a.m. — Final circle to close the retreat.
12 p.m. — Lunch on your own as you head home.

REGISTRATION

Space is limited to 12 participants.

Design Your Self: Up the Contrast, Nov. 2012 retreat

Design Your Self: Up the Contrast

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” — John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

What: A retreat to explore the design element of contrast, both in the contexts of design and of philosophy—how is contrast useful in building our understandings of self? How does it or can it shape our visual, physical, and emotional experiences? What would our lives look like if we “upped the contrast”?

When: Evening of November 16 to noon on Sunday, November 18, 2012

Where: Shalom Hill Farm, Windom, Minnesota (about 2.5 hours southwest of
the Twin Cities)

Our first retreat in August on the topic of white space generated interest in putting together this next one, and some of us met and came up with the theme “Up the Contrast”. Contrast is often thought of in dramatic terms, like black and white, hot and cold, rich and poor. But the definition doesn’t always have to be so stark. Contrast can help us bring blurry things into focus if we look hard enough. The nuances of contrast in a visual composition and in our lives can provide some of the most interesting things to talk about.

Join us the weekend of November 16-18 for some good conversation, good food, great stories, and art-making about where we find contrast in our lives.

Some background: Peter Shea and I, two instructors for the University philosophy course Lives Worth Living: Questions of Self, Vocation, and Community(Philosophy Camp), had a brainstorm/conversation during last spring’s course about playing with the intersection of design and philosophy by looking at one through the lens of the other. To further explore this idea we decided to initiate a series of occasional weekend retreats, playing with design elements and concepts like contrast, hierarchy, proximity, etc. We do hands-on design activities and use design concepts as metaphors for telling and listening to stories from our own and each others’ lives.

The format for the weekend follows one used in a series of “folk school retreats” that helped develop the ideas that eventually became Philosophy Camp. In the spirit of “design it yourself”, participants work together to design parts of the retreat. Everyone is invited to help with meal preparation and clean-up and there are open times when participants are able to create group or individual activities.

Participants can attend one retreat or may be inspired to attend several, depending on their interest and availability — each retreat will be a theme that is independent of the others, so it won’t be necessary to attend them all or in sequence to get something out of the experience.

Rough schedule for the retreat weekend:

Friday, November 16
Arrive in time for 6 p.m. dinner (arrive around 4 p.m. if you would like to help with cooking). After clean-up we’ll do an introductory story circle and evening design activity

Saturday, November 17
Breakfast will be a self-serve assortment of baked goods, granola, fruit, and yogurt. Eggs are also available. We’ll meet at around 9 a.m. for a story circle, then break to prepare and eat lunch. After lunch there will be a hands-on design activity. Later in the afternoon there will be free time available to go for a walk, take a nap, do some sketching, or whatever. We’ll start preparing dinner around 5 p.m. After dinner and dishes are done there will be more open time for conversations, walks, and/or group-generated activities.

Sunday, November 18
After breakfast we’ll have a closing story circle, then be ready to leave by noon.

Cost for the weekend is on a sliding scale: $72, $92, or $112.

The actual fee of $92 includes a single room for two nights and all food.
Pay the lower fee of $72 if that’s what you can afford, or the higher fee of $112 if you can afford to provide a scholarship. If you share a room your fee will be $10 less for the weekend ($62, $82, $102).

We can accommodate up to 20 participants.

Shalom Hill Farm is a modern retreat facility on a historic farm near Windom, Minn. The surrounding landscape of restored prairie, wetlands, and wide-open skies provide a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. Although it’s not a working farm, there are chickens (and fresh eggs), sheep, cats, and Otie, the Jack Russell Terrier (who loves to go on prairie walks).

RSVP to Nance at longley@umn.edu, by Friday, November 9 and then we’ll get information out to you about driving directions. Let me know if you have any dietary restrictions so we can plan the food accordingly. Meals will be simple and vegetarian, with a vegan option if needed.

Contact me at longley@umn.edu with any questions. Feel free to forward to anyone you think may be interested. Hope you can make it!

Organizers: Marisol Brito, Nance Longley, Martha Megarry, Mary Ellen Shaw, Peter Shea

Design Your Self: White Space, Aug. 2012 retreat

Design Your Self: White Space
An informal retreat to explore the possibilities

“The usefulness of a water pitcher dwells in the emptiness where water might be put, not in the form of the pitcher or the material of which it is made.” Lao-tse (604-531 B.C., Book of Tea)

What: A retreat to explore the design element of white space, both in the contexts of design and of philosophy—how do we utilize the spaces we have available to make a design (and a life) work?

When: evening of August 24 to noon on Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where: Shalom Hill Farm, Windom, Minnesota (about 2.5 hours southwest of the Twin Cities)

Peter Shea and I, two instructors for the University philosophy course Lives Worth Living: Questions of Self, Vocation, and Community (Philosophy Camp), had a brainstorm/conversation during last spring’s course about playing with the intersection of design and philosophy by looking at one through the lens of the other. To further explore this idea we’d like to initiate a series of occasional weekend retreats, playing with design elements and concepts like contrast, hierarchy, proximity, etc. We’ll do hands-on design activities and use design concepts as metaphors for telling and listening to stories from our own and each others’ lives. The format for the weekend follows one used in a series of “folk school retreats” that helped develop the ideas that eventually became Philosophy Camp. In the spirit of “design it yourself”, participants will work together to design parts of the retreat. Everyone is invited to help with meal preparation and clean-up and there will be open times when participants are able to create group or individual activities. Subsequent retreats can be generated from the “starter yeast” of the this first one—interested participants can come up with the ideas and activities for the next one, and so on. Participants can attend one retreat or may be inspired to attend several, depending on their interest and availability – each retreat will be a theme that is independent of the others, so it won’t be necessary to attend them all or in sequence to get something out of the experience.

Rough schedule for the retreat weekend:

Friday, August 24
Arrive in time for 6 p.m. dinner (arrive around 4 p.m. if you would like to help with cooking). After clean-up we’ll do an introductory story circle and evening design activity

Saturday, August 25
Breakfast will be a self-serve assortment of baked goods, granola, fruit, and yogurt. Eggs are also available. We’ll meet at around 9 a.m. for a story circle, then break to prepare and eat lunch. After lunch there will be a hands-on design activity. Later in the afternoon there will be free time available to go for a walk, take a nap, do some sketching, or whatever. We’ll start preparing dinner around 5 p.m. After dinner and dishes are done there will be more open time for conversations, walks, and/or group-generated activities.

Sunday, August 26
After breakfast we’ll have a closing story circle, then be ready to leave by noon.

Cost for the weekend is on a sliding scale: $72, $92, or $112.
The actual fee of $92 includes a single room for two nights and all food. Pay the lower fee of $72 if that’s what you can afford, or the higher fee of $112 if you can afford to provide a scholarship. If you share a room your fee will be $10 less for the weekend ($62, $82, $102).

We can accommodate up to 16 participants.

Shalom Hill Farm is a modern retreat facility on a historic farm near Windom, Minn. The surrounding landscape of restored prairie, wetlands, and wide-open skies provide a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. Although it’s not a working farm, there are chickens (and fresh eggs), sheep, cats, and Otie, the Jack Russell Terrier (who loves to go on prairie walks).

RSVP to Nance at longley (at) umn.edu, by Friday, August 17 and then we’ll get information out to you about driving directions. Let me know if you have any dietary restrictions so we can plan the food accordingly. Meals will be simple and vegetarian, with a vegan option if needed.

Contact me at longley (at) umn.edu with any questions. Feel free to forward to anyone you think may be interested. Hope you can make it!

Organizers:

Nance Longley graphic designer for the College of Education and Human Development graduate student in the College of Design University of Minnesota

Peter Shea adjunct faculty, Gustavus Adolphus College, philosophy video producer, Bat of Minerva

Anna Lohse co-owner, baker, and barista, Hard Times Cafe Philosophy Camp alumnus and apprentice instructor

Mary Ellen Shaw coordinator, Student Progress & Scholarships, College of Education and Human Development Student Services community faculty at Metro State University, religious studies Philosophy Camp fellow 2006

Writing retreat, July 2003

Writing Retreat, July 26-31, Shalom Hill Farm, and Writing Times, Blue Moon Café, July 8 and July 22

We are writing to invite you to a writing retreat at Shalom Hill Farm, starting Friday, July 26, at dinner time and concluding Wednesday, July 31, around lunch time.

And to invite you also to the July writing times at the Blue Moon Coffee Café, 5:30-7:00 PM, on Mondays July 8 and 22. The Blue Moon is on East Lake Street at 39th Avenue.

What will be writing retreat be like? The motto of the retreat could be Rousseau’s saying about education, that “the point is not to save time, but to lose time.” A group of facilitators (Ilene Alexander, Julie Plaut, Peter Shea, Mary Ellen Shaw, Kim Lindell, Joanne Englund, Lynn Englund, and John Wallace) met on June 19 and came up with the following ideas:

The retreat will be very lightly facilitated, with a simple and open structure to time, and to meals, and will give participants a lot of time to write according to their individual rhythms.

We will use the space at Shalom Hill Farm to create a few different writing and socializing environments. For examples, a quiet space with tables where you can write quietly in the presence of others writing-that is, a space to write in company and not be talked to; a talking space where you can have conversations about whatever (for those of you who have been at Shalom Hill Farm, we think we will use the dining room in the Commons for this, next to the kitchen where there is likely to be coming and going and snacking and talking most of the time anyway); the space in your sleeping room can be a quiet private writing space; and then there is the great outdoors.

On using your sleeping room as a writing space-it will probably be a good idea to bring card table to write on. Only a few of the sleeping rooms at Shalom Hill Farm are equipped with desks.

Shalom Hill Farm now has superfast internet connections. We will bring a Mac, a PC, and a printer or two so these modern conveniences and access to email will be available those who want them.

Breakfast and lunch will be simple do-it-yourself meals. Cereal, toast, bagels, fruit for breakfast. Sandwich fixings for lunch. Dinner will be a little bigger deal, a real meal so to speak where all participants will sit down together.

Besides dinner, the only times that will be “programmed” for everyone to participate are an introductory meeting on that first Friday evening, and a concluding meeting on Wednesday morning.

We will encourage and provide opportunity for small-self initiated groups to form where participants might read their writing to each other, give and receive feedback, do writing exercises of the Natalie Goldberg type (or any other type) and so forth. There will be a big sheet for suggestions and sign-up for these groups prominently displayed. These will be self-initiated spaces for risk-taking and surprise.

It is OK for people to come for only part of this retreat. The loose structure makes this possible. The fee for the retreat will be pro-rated for a shorter stay.

A word about the fee for this retreat. As you know, the fees we charge for these retreats exactly cover costs. For this retreat, the costs for the full six days will be about $140. As for the shorter weekend retreats, we offer the option where without any application or review or questions you can give yourself a scholarship-and pay, say, $90–or give a scholarship, by paying some amount more than $140, say $190.

John Wallace will serve as banker for this retreat. Payment may be made to him either at the retreat or by sending a check to 4536 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409.

Further information about the folk school, about costs, logistics, travel, and registering for the retreat can be found on the web at www.hopework.org

A special note. This invitation will reach some people who have not previously taken part in a gathering sponsored by the folk school group. That is great. The folk school gatherings are intended to bring new people together and to be open to people who share the values of wanting stronger communities and working to build them.

Let me remind you again of, and urge you to feel welcome to participate in, the July writing times at the Blue Moon Coffee Café, 5:30-7:00 PM, on Mondays July 8 and 22. The Blue Moon is on East Lake Street at 39th Avenue. These times can be an opportunity to ask questions about, and warm up for, the end of July 5-day retreat.

A word about future retreats. We have the following retreats scheduled:

August 30-September 1, 2002, just before the start of Fall Semester at the U of MN. The topic will for this retreat has not been chosen yet. Choosing the topic will happen at a potluck sometime in July. Stay tuned for an invitation.

And finally, please don’t hesitate to call or email Lynn Englund or John Wallace if you have questions or suggestions (engl8813[at]umn.edu  or walla003[at]umn.edu.

Legacies, November 2002 retreat

INVITATION TO “LEGACIES” FOLK SCHOOL RETREAT
(held at Shalom Hill Farm near Windom, MN)

The next folk school retreat, November 1-3, occurs around All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and the Mexican Day of the Dead — celebrations that help us recall those people who have been important in shaping our lives — and the ways what we do now contributes to lives in the next generations. The next folk school retreat will be built around such thoughts. Its theme is “Legacies” — We want to ask what we have received and what we are passing on — as individuals and as participants in groups and institutions and movements.

The questions and activities for the session are still to be decided — and of course, your participation and ideas are welcome. We hope to make time for preserving the memories of those who have been important to us and for imagining the way we wish to be remembered.

This retreat will leave time on Saturday afternoon for private reflection and writing and for group projects, which may be arranged spontaneously or planned in advance. People who wish to use this time to meet with friends and coworkers to plan and conspire and evaluate their common projects are encouraged to do so. The pre-planned meals and common program times will be Friday evening and Saturday morning, with remaining meals and activities, including a possible celebratory feast on Saturday evening, planned and created by retreat participants.

Peter and Lynn will present a plan for the Friday evening and Saturday morning program times on October 20th at the folk school planning meeting at Lynn’s (separate announcement and directions in a day or two). Contact Lynn (612-331-2263 or engl8813@umn.edu) or Peter (612-521-8616 or shea0017@tc.umn.edu) if you would like to help with pre-retreat planning.

SIGNING UP FOR THE RETREAT

RESERVING YOUR ROOM. A total of 18 rooms are available for this retreat. A room is held for you when you inform John Wallace (walla003@tc.umn.edu) or Lynn Englund (engl8813@umn.edu) that you wish to attend. Please register by October 30 so we can plan for the meal Friday evening.

ARRIVING AND DEPARTING. We will expect you to arrive by 6 p.m. for dinner on Friday and to stay with us until 12 noon on Sunday unless other arrangements are communicated.

COST. Shalom Hill Farm charges $20 per person per night for lodging, single occupancy. Double occupancy rooms are charged at $15 per person per night. Our group will be buying our own food and preparing our own meals. Based on the experience of previous workshops, it will cost $15 per person for food for Friday dinner through Sunday brunch. So, the total cost is $55 per person single occupancy or $45 per person double occupancy.

SLIDING FEE. To recognize the fact that different people have different abilities to pay, we offer a self-selected sliding fee ranging from $35 to $75. What you pay is up to you–there is no application or review process. If you choose to pay less than cost ($55), you are accepting a scholarship. If you choose to pay more than cost, you are providing a scholarship for someone else.

BANKER. John Wallace will serve as the banker for this retreat. Please make your checks out to him. You may pay in advance or at the retreat. If you want to send me a check, please send it to John at 4536 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409.

PERSONAL GEAR AND BEDDING. Shalom Hill Farm provides sheets, towels, and blankets. You won’t need to bring your sleeping bag, but do bring personal toiletries including soap and shampoo.

TRANSPORTATION. We encourage car pooling and will help to coordinate rides. Please let John or Lynn know if you need a ride or if you can provide rides. John will put out a summary of who is driving and who needs a ride so that good travel matches can be made. Also, please let John know if you would like to caravan with other cars. Allow at least 2.5 hours of travel time from Minneapolis, more if traveling during rush hour.

MEALS. Simple meals are prepared on site by retreat participants. Meals are often entirely vegetarian, but if not, a vegetarian option will be available. Please note any special dietary needs when you register.

REGISTRATION. Please register by October 30 so that some food can be purchased in advance. Simply e-mail John Wallace (walla003@umn.edu) or Lynn Englund (engl8813@umn.edu) saying that you intend to participate. Please include in your registration message the following information:

1. Name

2. Food requirements: vegetarian, vegan, other food desires or allergies?

3. If you are driving, let us know your estimated departure and arrival times and whether you will have room for others.

4. If you need a ride, indicate the time you can leave and where you will be leaving from on Friday.

5. When we should expect you if you are unable to arrive by 6 pm or need to leave early.