I feel like this has taken forever to complete the recap of the Summer Institute…but it gave us a lot to think about. I think I pared each post about 50%, so you got off easy.
On the 5th day, we wrapped up the morning session with KFI and then headed to the auditorium where Tom Kohler was offering the closing keynote. He told the story of Waddie Welcome, albeit an abridged version due to the time constraints.
We gathered again after his keynote, shared sandwiches, and talked about how to bring some of the things we learned back with us.
I really cannot sum up adequately everything I feel about the experience, but I noticed that Tom wrote this on his blog on the last day of the conference. I don’t purport to know what he was thinking when he wrote it. He could have been talking on a personal level, or on a broader level, but the words are beautiful and spoke to me:
What We Do…June 25th, 2010 By Tom Kohler
- What we do is not flashy.
- What we do is not “solving a community problem” unless you consider indifference to injustice in another person’s life a community problem.
- What we do is based on possibility, not prescription.
- What we do is as strong as people, and as weak as people.
- What we do demands and deepens character.
- What we do is both humble and audacious.
- What we do can speak to people of good heart who have little else in common.
- What we do is to do this as best we can, which is different than the best it can be done. We aspire, given our limitations as individual people, as a group of people and as an organization to do this the best it can be done.
- What we do fans the flame of personalism rather than professionalism.
- What we do is part of the very current and hip DIY movement.
- What we do has roots in each of the major faith stories of the world.
- What we do ties back to the underground railroad, the sheltering of Jews, to other movements and individual acts of courage that focus on saving individual people from harm at the hands of a power structure.
I think that is all the summation necessary. Thank you to Hope for making it possible, and all at Realizations. Thanks to John and Diana and Brady and Robert and ALN for the model, wisdom and solidarity. Thanks to Tom and Janet and Gail and Jim and Milt for the patience, guidance and challenges. And thanks to all who traveled in the Starfire circle for the example and strength.