3 June

Sacraments in Everyday Life

Michael Bruhn (Priest - Lenker of Switzerland/France/Italy/Spain/Portugal)

Sacraments are like windows between us and the spiritual world. I will try to explore their significance for everyday life, the difference it makes to know about them and participate in them as well as the ethical questions related to each one of the sacraments. I believe that the traditional number of seven sacraments is in no way arbitrary but bears a deep significance regarding the seven most profound questions we as human beings can ask about ourselves and our relationship with the world.

Language: Spanish → English

Surrounded by the unborn

Jeanne Meijs-Stolk (Author - Sampovereniging van Actief Beeldende Therapeuten, The Netherlands)

The unborn live with us in our world. They interrogate us and share our experiences. Many things change about fertility, sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth. Can we dare to establish a conscious relationship with the world and the life of the unborn? Rudolf Steiner says that having the unborn in consciousness is as essential as having the deceased in our consciousness.

Language: Dutch → German

Fall into the darkness – rise in Christ; Conflict healing by dealing with the shadows of the past

Jeanette Terra (Priest - Bochum Community, Germany)

“Your own laws are dearer to you than the laws of God.” These words of Christ express what tension fields have always accompanied religious striving. Both in our own personality structure as well as in organizations, shadows, patterns, molded by painful experiences accompany us. Only through conscious seeing, acknowledging and transforming ourselves and the community will we find again the way to the healing source.

Language: German → Dutch

Johannine Economics – Christianity as Financial Fact

Christopher Houghton Budd (Economic and monetary historian - Economics Conference of the Goetheanum, Switzerland)

Modern finance stands under the sign of neo-liberalism. Is that the devil’s handiwork or a caricature of some as yet unidentified Michaelic development? Is its ruthlessness ineluctable or the effect of our not being as financially awake as we should be? Is modern economic life subject to ‘market forces’ or are they the shadow of something deeper? Such that ‘market forces’ is really a reference to karmic relationships and ‘the wisdom of the market’ is a materialist version of ‘The Lord of Karma’?

Language: English → German

Religious and Cultural Streams in the Holy Land Group Identities, Individuality and Freedom of Choice

Ilse Wellershoff-Schuur (Priest - Ueberlingen Community, Germany)

When we talk about different religions, it is not always really the religious question we mean. Our cultural identity, our ethnic background, our traditions form a mix of feelings we inherit from the groups we were born into. Where is our individual relationship to the Divine? And how can a vivid study of identity at this crossing point of the world (Israel/Palestine) help us understand more about the spiritual tasks we have as individual human beings in our time of global consciousness?

Language: German → English

Failing successfully – Creative alternatives for Zero faults

Ulrich Meier (Priest/Seminary Director - Seminary Hamburg, Germany)

The fact that it cannot only be meaningful, but often even comforting, to achieve something other than the desired goal could give the word “failure” a surprisingly positive meaning. Why do we usually experience failure as a defeat, and rather try to go for “safe” solutions, than to be open to the new. These is often shown only through first futile attempts. Could there be an exercise path that affirms in a positive way our failure attempts and leads to better success?

Language: German → Dutch

Compost and the Image of Man

Aaron Mirkin (Priest - Stroud Community, England)

There are many interesting parallels with our human journey to be found when exploring the essential elements of a bio-dynamic compost heap; that man-made place where Nature can Die and Become in dignity. And such ‘Dying and Becoming’ lies at the heart of all meaningful development; whether transforming the soil, the soul or the social life. What we need are many compost heaps.

Language: English → Spanish

4 June

“The holy Play – To play with holy fire” – The act of consecration of man – a risky enterprise

Tom Tritschel (Priest - Bochum Community, Germany)

“… man, only plays where he is in the fullest sense of the word man, and he is only wholly man, where he plays. This proposition, which at this moment seems paradoxical, will have a great and deep meaning, if we have only come to apply it to the double seriousness of duty and fate, he will, I promise you, bear the whole structure of aesthetic art and even more difficult, life. ” Friedrich Schiller

Language: German → Dutch

Go ahead, point the way, light the fire !

Jacques Meulman (psychologist, The Netherlands - )

So long before birth the future parents were the landmark for the unborn child on their way to earth. And ever since then children want nothing more than to love and to follow their parents. How can you as an adult still be a guiding light for your children? How can you light your fire and keep it burning?

Language: Dutch → English

Fuel for the Spirit. About cool places and burning cities.

Yaroslava Black-Terletska (Priest - Cologne Community, Germany)

How do I learn to deal with the fire? How to distinguish between the creative forces and the destructive ones? For the spirit sparks on these opposite forces, it needs fuel but mostly a community of people who are cool and willing to consider the hottest secrets of the world. At that instance, do we see the Whitsun flames transcend from our heads into the heavens or from the heavens into our heads? This question we will try to answer during our Whitsun conference.

Language: German → Spanish

Peter Bruckmann (Priest - Düsseldorf Community, Germany)

Still, our relations are characterized by a separation-creating preoccupation, which culminates in the question: What is the matter with me? Everything would change if instead asked: What do I owe to the world? The “advancing from taking to giving” (R. Steiner) heals relationships by forming community. For this we need the help of the “healing spirit”, which burns the old and fires the new. The life of the law would thus be an expression of religious spirit.

Language: German → Dutch

Border phenomena – Experiences and their consequences in the age of the Consciousness Soul

Hans-Bernd Neumann (Priest - Reutlingen Community, Germany)

Science has discovered that the cosmos is developing. Clear signs show that the consciousness of mankind is developing too. This development is taking place in large steps and with every step, mankind can control more parts of the forces of nature in different ways. From the beginning of the 20th century man transcended into logic era and with the “Thinking behind the thinking” man is able to crack the genetic codes and explore the forces of the atom. This also has its consequences for nature.

Language: German → English

The Bridge of Fire to the Future

Lisa Devine (Priest - Sydney Community, Australia)

In Australia there are plants that require fire to germinate and can wait years for the opportunity to live. The indigenous people cultivated such enlivening fire. Fire also destroys. The mysteries of warmth engendered everything we experience and know. There is a fire that forms the bridge to the future we seek for our troubled world. It is a fire only human beings can cultivate. It burns when true community arises and we recognize one another and are “redeemed from fire by fire.”(TS Elliot)

Language: English → Spanish

“The sower went out to sow the seed …”

René Groenen (BD farmer - 'De Beersche Hoeve', The Netherlands)

In Luke 8, the seed is the Divine Word and the field on which it falls, the human soul. The quality of what comes from it depends on how the man hears the word.The seeds in agriculture and horticulture also need good soil, but must also be of good quality.The celestial seed and the earthly seed: two seeds which man must unite in his soul. As a farmer / gardener and as a consumer.

Language: Dutch → German

5 June

“Our Helping Guide”: Cultivating a Direct Relationship with Jesus Christ

Patrick Kennedy (Priest - Spring Valley Community, NY, USA)

The wellspring of religious renewal is the living experience of the presence of Christ in our time. He is here and he is near and we can turn to him directly and concretely. But how? How can I personally, individually, cultivate and develop a relationship with Him? We will explore how we can cultivate this relationship in the daily work of turning to Christ in our lives as our teacher, as our ‘helping guide’, and how there is a ‘path of discipleship’ that the sacraments open up as well.

Language: English → German

Passing through the gates of live and death / Responsibility and Freedom

Anand Mandaiker (Priest - Member of Circle of Seven, Germany)

Looking at the biography of individual people but also at the history of mankind, we find a story of increasingly taking on responsibility. How free are we toward these gates which involve birth and death? How can we deal with those choices in a responsible way? And what could be possible consequences of the choices we make?

Language: English → German

About peace – balancing between acceptance and resistance.

Désanne van Brederode (Writer - The Netherlands)

Inner peace is the first step towards being at peace with the world. Yet it might be important to speak out in some instances, to portray injustice or for those unable to do so, abuse of power, war, and violence. How to avoid that inner peace becomes your escape to be inactive? But also, to avoid that resistance becomes aggressive. With different texts by Erasmus and Dietrich Bonhoeffer we will explore the fragile balance.

Language: Dutch → German

The individual and the group. The Beatitudes, the burning challenge of our time

Mariano Kasanetz (Priest - Buenos Aires Community, Argentina)

The group and community forms inherited from the past, no longer respond to the needs of the present and do not promise to be useful in the future. Individuals are torn between idealism and ideologies, seeing their longings for a more harmonious, peaceful and enthusiastic humanity fail. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5) guide the path of individual awakening for the development of healthy, strong, creative and sensible groups that can respond to the challenges of our time.

Language: Spanish → English

State secrets and groupdynamics

Mathijs van Alstein (Priest - Zeist Community, The Netlerlands)

This year it is exactly a century ago that the social impulses were perverted by a totalitarian regime in Russia. The Russian Revolution thwarted all fraternity. Today the state tries to claim the social processes again, this time by means of mass surveillance. This lecture will investigate the stakes of the hypertechnological groupdynamics of our age and its significance for a movement of religious renewal.

Language: German → Spanish

Peace through spiritual fight. Philosophy as Anthroposophy between East and West.

Jaap Sijmons (Lawyer - Anthroposophical Society, The Netherlands)

Real peace does not arise through the suppression of justified interests, but through interest, understanding and harmonization. The spirit of Whitsun allows for differences and raises them to the level beyond mutual exclusion. The opposites of our time are greater than ever before. What is the task of philosophy as anthroposophy between East and West?

Language: Dutch → English

International
Whitsunconference 2017