The Haven has participated in many Centers Gatherings over the years, sending different members of staff. I attended my first Gathering in 2011 at Findhorn, and it didn’t take long for me to be hooked! It was very clear to me, as Executive Director of The Haven, that this was a very important meeting for me to attend every year. When possible, I take another member of Haven staff with me.
I love the model that underpins the Gathering, and its long standing history. This is a group that has met every year for many years. Sometimes it’s a big group, other years smaller. Sometimes it has met in Europe; other times in North America. Some centers have been coming consistently for many years. Others come when they can. What unites all of the meetings is the desire for all of our centers to be strengthened by what we can share. Rather than adopting the more traditional competitive position, all of the centers at the Gathering share the belief that if one of us is stronger, we are all stronger. Not only that, but by sharing our best practices, our challenges and our triumphs, that ultimately the world will be a better place.
This may sound somewhat exaggerated, but it has been my consistent experience over the past two years. At each of the Gatherings I have attended, I have learned something I wouldn’t have found in a book. I have also been able to pass on some of the things I have learned, sometimes the hard way! There is no other way of receiving the many benefits that come from visiting a sister center, and all the things, big and small, that unite us and make us different. I share my learning with the greater Haven community by blogging about the Gathering and then on my return I host a meeting where I present my experiences with a slideshow of the photos I have taken. The Haven staff are always the most eager to find out how other places manage the challenges that we all face.
So you can probably tell I’m a fan! So much so that The Haven is more than happy to host the 2014 Gathering. If you haven’t been before, I invite you to join us on a journey of discovery and companionship. The exact date will be announced soon, and in the meantime I can tell you that it will be in April 2014.
I would be happy to talk with anyone who is considering coming to the Gathering. Feel free to contact me by email any time: firstname.lastname@example.org