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SMALL FRESH BEGINNINGS, NEW HOPE

After two years of Covid-enforced virtual meetings, 20 from IofC in Sweden met in person on the Swedish west coast.

IofC Sweden meeting at Havsörnen, May 2022

After two years of Covid-enforced virtual meetings, 20 from IofC in Sweden met in person on the Swedish west coast. We were joined by a dozen or so from other Nordic countries and beyond for a heartfelt and wonderful weekend together. It was a deep reconnection after the separation of Covid, a time of catch up, sharing of hopes and perspectives, vulnerability and joy.

We spent three meeting times all together, sharing, holding silence, questing.  As important were the many times in twos and small groups where friendships were strengthened and new ideas incubated.

We reviewed the process of restructuring of IofC Sweden which is more or less complete - the establishment of a grant making Foundation which now takes care of the capital, leaving the Association as a place for fellowship and action. We shared a strong sense that this is a new beginning for us all. A chance to leave the past behind and quest together how to be and what to do.

Meeting during IofC Sweden weekend, Havsörnen, May 2022

At a time when ethnic, religious and national groups are trying to erect walls to protect their identity, we recognised that part of our task in the North of Europe may be to open ourselves to those who are different from us. To welcome diversity, be vulnerable and build relationships of trust and love. We have to start where we are, and develop new ways of practice.

"Being is primary, doing is secondary," said one person. "There is nothing to prove, what matters most is our vulnerability."

Ideas emerged, including developing new spaces for dialogue, whether via technology or in person. A monthly online meeting is one concrete next step. 

Small fresh beginnings perhaps, but full of hope.

Edward Peters

 

Photos by Aliaa Gendia