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THE YEAR 2016 IN OTTAWA: EPIC
A very special and heartfelt ‘thanks’ to all of you who attended last August’s international conference, and contributed to what turned out to be the creation of a truly exceptional event. I believe that, as the week progressed, many people experienced the growing interest and activity of the spiritual world. Also, over the months since we came together and participated in the many offerings at the Encountering our Humanity conference, I sense a change in the general spiritual environment of Ottawa — a city which carries (amongst other hindrances) a great burden of bureaucracy. But now a space has been opened up. We can see proof of this in new, local members of our Society (welcome!) who were enabled to make this step. Interestingly enough, requests for contact, interest in and even new membership have also come from people hitherto unknown in our community.
In 2017 our challenge and hope will be to build on this new impetus, to enlarge our work in the National Capital Region.
With this in mind, I would like to report on an important artistic development. Last May, Hamo and I were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to the graduation of CoCo Verspoor from the School of Eurythmy in Spring Valley (actually, Chestnut Ridge, New York). What a treat that was! Now we have a new eurythmist in our city. Here is a ‘morning after the celebrations’ photo of CoCo with Sylvie Richard, our other wonderful eurythmist-in-residence. Both of them have given classes during the past months. We hope very much to benefit from more in the future, and to find and build active support for eurythmy in our city.
Sylvie and CoCo also brought the gift of a specially-choreographed ‘Hallelujah’ to open our All Souls’ Day Branch evening of remembrance for the ‘so-called’ dead. Some fifteen of us gathered at Sylvie’s home. We lit floating candles to place on a bowl of water, and said the name of the individuality we wanted to honour and remember. We heard some poems spoken, some special incidents of connection across the threshold, and ended the evening more informally with refreshments and social time.
We hope to carry this initiative into the future, and also to work towards meeting around the Holy Nights. A small start has already been made. Hopefully, the Confluence of Three Rivers Branch will organize and host more events in 2017.