Karine Munk Finser, Coordinator of CfA’s popular Renewal Courses, looks back on a sumptous summer – and offers a peek into the next one.

Dear Friends,

There were plenty of meaningful memories from Renewal 2017, and I would like to thank all of you who shared the special celebratory weeks: both faculty and participants made those summer days full of life and learning, full of encounters, and there were also moments of fun for all. Over 400 participants and faculty gathered on the pretty green hill of High Mowing and Pine Hill school in Wilton, New Hampshire, during two weeks of 5- day courses with faculty from near and far.

The first week of grade-specific courses was filled to the brim, and David Gable sang delightfully with us all every morning and shared music with every grade as well. Roberto Trostli taught the science classes to the upper elementary grades and offered an unforgettable keynote on the opening night. Cezary Ciaglo, who has been with us since the beginning 18 years ago, taught eurythmy. Peter Sheen brought games and Spacial Dynamics.

A stellar faculty taught grades 1-8 and Christof Wiechert offered his second year of supporting facilitators in the Child Study, so needed in our schools. In addition to teaching his own course, Christof gave daily lectures to all the participants of the first week, a hugely popular daily morning event! ( Grades faculty 2017: Regine Shemroske, Rob Lanier, Christopher Sblendorio, Neal Kennerk, Patrice Maynard, Lynn Thurrell, Alison Henry, and Signe Motter) Michael Howard shared an evening on form and metamorphosis and left us a beautiful exhibit of contemplative work. Musicians led by Andrew Koutroubas brought us a profound musical experience.

New this year was an evening where the faculty led small groups of discussions focusing on important themes that the participants chose. This Colloquium was popular and next year we hope to lengthen this evening event. To make time to talk to one another is an essential part of our Renewal encounter: we want to know what you carry as challenges in your schools and classrooms. The week ended with a celebratory swing dance led by Jan Lade, our Norwegian jazz trumpeter and his joyful musicians.

In 2018, we would like teachers who are taking the first week of courses to feel encouraged to stay for a second week and will offer them 50% scholarship towards a course in the second week.

The second week was devoted to Renewal courses that are close to our mission: life-long learning to deepen soul capacities through anthroposophical study. In the course on the Courage to Heal, Peter Selg brought a sacramental approach to lecturing, which was transformative for all in the lecture hall. Chris Bamford led us to the big “Yes” of unconditional hospitality, of an active life participating gesture of selflessness. Lucky were the people in the poetry course with Patrice Pinette who worked with the living word and inner transformation through the doorway of the 12 senses. Mary Stuart Adams brought a thought provoking keynote, played with stars, stories, and constellations while Sandy Pearson, with Glynn Graham visiting, safely made dolls for children to play with, and a group of sewing and happy people brought their own form of cosmos to the earth.

Enormous preparatory work on conflict in our workplaces was taking place with John Cunningham and Barbara Richardson, while Gotthart Killian brought a group of music enthusiasts guidance and insight into music and a schooling path and together with pianist Marcus Macauley, offered a moving concert that included original poetry.

We will never forget Jeff Spade and his group of delightful singers and conducters-in-training, how they surprised us with an impromptu demonstration that brought tears to our eyes. Every morning Jeff held our entire group of Renewal participants in song…and in joy. Linda Bergh was a wonder bringing Life Cycles and hands-on work with biographical studies while Michael D’Aleo brought Living Thinking in a way that truly challenged old patterns of thinking. Finally, Chuck Andrade led his artists in the laws of light and darkness, in movement and form, and in color, creating veilpaintings.

Elizabeth Auer, a master in many arts, chose to work in clay accompanying
Gotthart and Linda to great enhancement of several themes from the classes. Peter was active in movement and Cezary enriched with eurythmy.

We were most fortunate to have Glen Williamson bring several Kurt Vonnegut pieces to a “laughing out loud” large crowd. Contrasting this was Peter’s evening lecture on the Foundation Stone Meditation, a very profound event that bound the audience together in close community. Patrice shared a Poetry Reading and moved everyone with her words while an accompanying harpist brought Celtic music that wove between the spoken words.

So these were memories of a beautiful Renewal 2017-but what does Renewal 2018 look like?

Much is already being prepared: there will be some new grade specific teachers that will join some who have been with us for a while. Christof Wiechert has announced that he will teach two more years: please join us practicing the joy and courage in teaching Christof brings in his unique way, and come practice facilitating the Child Study which is at the heart of the faculty meeting.

In the second week we are planning a course that addresses teaching mixed grades: Grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4. We will also offer a mixed grade 5 and 6, 7 and 8. We are planning to bring a course on special education and will announce the faculty very soon. Jamie York will return with Projective Geometry. We will welcome the author and teacher Karsten Massei who will offer a course on Elemental Beings, accompanied by Jonathan Greene who will offer a daily workshop in creating a little nature-being for classroom or home. Michael D’Aleo is returning and we are planning to offer a course on Death, Destiny, and Threshold Experiences. Please visit this website, which we will update as courses and faculty are confirmed.

Dates for Renewal 2018

Week 1: June 24th to June 29th
Week 2: July 1st to July 6th

I want to wish you a continued good fall and best wishes on all your endeavors!