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 For directions, see:

The Shalom Hill Farm web site has directions:

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

John Wallace

Author: Lynn

Contributor of ideas and possibilities for cooperative governance, education, and society; maker, mother, daughter, life partner; lifelong learner.