KNOW retreat January 8, 2011 report back

2011 KNOW RETREAT (a report by Raelyn Joyce)

The KNOW retreat held on January 8, 2011, had an unexpected rough start. We found the basement meeting room of Wesley Foundation, which had been reserved for the 6-hour retreat, already occupied by a student group that was meeting upstairs. They had left their coats, purses, and bags lying on the tables and around the room! Clearing up the confusion and re-claiming the meeting room led to a late start. But by the time we had moved the tables into a large circle, there were 28 of us–equally divided into women and men (which we happily noted). And in the afternoon, two more came: a man and a woman! The gender diversity was an unexpected bonus, a gift that added to the richness of the ensuing interactions and discussion.

Fueled by good food (soups, salads, breads, cookies, pies) and by listening to everyone talk about the meaningful peace/justice event that each had taken part in during the past year, we moved on to discuss the question “Has KNOW outlived its usefulness?”
I can only say that answer to the question is a ringing “NO, KNOW HAS NOT OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS. IT NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO EXIST!”

On the walls of the room were poster sheets on which Ineke had written events that KNOW has sponsored since it was formed in 2002. Though not complete, the list was impressive. The discussion was stirring and energizing, a response echoed by many, such as those who came to the well-attended KNOW planning meeting the following week. Those who wrote their comments about the retreat said:
“It was inspiring to see so many people dedicated to working for peace in our community and our world.”
“We need to work jointly with like-minded groups and keep pressing our political leaders.”
“We must continue to stand for peace. Accomplishing our vision of a non-violent world takes perseverance. Never let our voices be silenced.”
“Hearing the ways all 28 people present had worked for peace in the last year or so was so moving and impressive! Breaking into small groups and brainstorming ways to be more powerful this year generated so much great thinking!”
“There was a lot of positive energy in the room to continue our work for peace and justice. A great sense of community pervaded the retreat.”
“I felt hopeful, energized by the large number of people who committed to attending this 6-hour retreat…and the commitment to continue and expand the work of KNOW, especially the Sunday vigils.”

Do you have a reason why KNOW should exist that hasn’t been expressed? Do you have ideas about how to strengthen our witness and work for peace and justice? Come to the next KNOW planning meeting the 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 5:15 pm at the First Presbyterian Church! Or send your comments to Dan Smith, the editor of the KNOW News at newsfromknow@gmail.com.

“If KNOW didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it.” — a comment made at an earlier KNOW meeting (September 2008) and repeated at the January 2011 retreat.

Here are the committees which were constituted at the retreat to move the peace agenda forward in 2011. Please contact any to the committee chairs directly or email newsfromKNOW@gmail.com if you would like to participate in any committee.
Afghanistan anniversary – chaired by Dave Staiger, additional members: Raelyn Joyce, Steve Senesi, date TBA (October)
Alternative gift bazaar – chaired by Tobi Hanna-Davies & Ineke Way, additional members: Valerie Groszmann, date: Friday Dec 2, 5-9 pm
Communication – chaired by Dan Smith & Larry Mahannah
Earth Day – Phil Micklin will check with Tom Small about leading, Phil is glad to be back-up or co-chair, additional members: George Theodoru
Films – Shadia Kanaan, George Theodoru
Fundraising – Bob Kildea overall chair
Hiroshima – chaired by Ron Kramer & Tobi Hanna-Davies, additional members: Tom Small, Amy Anderson, George, Thedoru, Sara Wick, Jean Gump , Pat Lynn, Dave McLeod, Amy Damashek, Sunday Aug 7, 6-8:30
History – chaired by Mark Miller & Ineke Way, additional members: Ron Kramer
Iraq war anniversary – chaired by Dan Smith, additional members: Shadia Kanaan , Margaret Morris (this subcommittee will coordinate with Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice)
Memorial Day parade – chaired by Lowey Dickason & Shadia Kanaan, additional members: Steve Senesi (also Veterans for Peace)
Palestinian issues event(s) – chaired by Lowey Dickason & Shadia, Kanaan additional members: Amy Damashek
Picnic – chaired by Dan Smith & Steve Senesi, additional members: Joe, Steve, Lowey, Ineke, Pat, date – Friday June 24, 5:30-9
Publicity – chaired by Raelyn Joyce & Steve Senesi, additional members: Dave Staiger , Gail S
Steering committee – Raelyn Joyce(convenor), Joe (treasurer), Dan Smith (communications), Ineke Way (secretary), Lyn Bartley, Ron Kramer, Bob Kildea; in emergency situations the steering committee may decide to allocate $$ between meetings
Website – chaired by Dan Smith, additional members: Pat Lynn, Mark Miller, Lyn Bartley, with technical support from Gail S.