On Sunday, April 28, many members of the United Church of Strafford met after their morning service to participate with George Kinder and his family in a Golden Civilization Conversation. With 23 perspectives from individuals ranging in age from 15 to 90, they began the conversation by exploring the qualities of “A Golden Civilization.” Each person answered the questions in turn: “What would a Golden Civilization look like? What do you dream or long for human civilization to become? Imagine it is hundreds of years from now and we have established the ideal society, what are its qualities?” Responses like “respect,” “love,” and “freedom” were shared along with “wisdom/vision guides us and keeps us on track,” “harmony with animals and nature,” and “citizens are trained to be stewards of the Golden Civilization,” among so many more.
The group reviewed their list of qualities and were asked, “If, as a consequence of our work together and with groups like ours all over the world, we were to bring this world [referencing the group’s list of qualities for “A Golden Civilization”] into being within a generation, how would that be?”
Tom reported that “All enthusiastically agreed it would be the best thing that could possibly happen, and the greatest achievement that any generation had ever accomplished.”
The group then dove into exploring what could get in the way of bringing their vision to fruition. Each shared the inner and outer obstacles that came up for them. The list was much shorter, but each response carried weight. Outer obstacles included “many stuck in fundamentalist developmental stage who cannot see oneness,” “media, and money in media,” and “systems are self-perpetuating and growing in power.” Inner obstacles included “fear,” “greed,” and “hopelessness.”
The group acknowledged the obstacles and revisited their vision of “A Golden Civilization” before moving on to determine what global, national, and local actions are possible. From the actions and the energy arising out of the ideas shared, each member made a personal commitment to act toward living into “A Golden Civilization” now, including “write more letters to politicians to put climate change front and center,” “continue lifting voices of color,” and “use social media in positive way for environment.”
The group has decided to continue this conversation by holding on-going meetings. All are welcome to join the next Golden Civilization Conversation. Their next meeting is set for Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 11:30 AM in the Parish Hall. You do not need to attend the church to participate, and should you wish to attend service, it is at 10:00 AM (followed by refreshments). Sarah Root has graciously offered to be the group’s organizer and Tom Kinder to be the facilitator as they move forward. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read a full account of the event, visit https://unitedchurchofstrafford.com/2019/05/08/golden-civilization-conversation-continues-notes-from-4-28-19/.