Message from Maia – April

April 5, 2007

BPF Logo - SmallA couple of days ago we received the April message to BPF Chapters from Maia, and one the next day from Diana Lion – calling for submissions to the BPF e-newsletter.

You can read both messages below.


To: BPF Chapters and Friends
From: Maia

Hello everybody,

Warm spring greetings… unless of course you’re in Australia and other points south of the equator, in which case warm fall greetings! As the new season arrives here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I find myself swimming in a sea of change at BPF. We are in the midst of conducting final interviews with candidates for the executive director position. I will officially step down from that spot as of May 31, and we hope to have our new ED starting sometime in May so that there will be time for training. I’ll take the month of June off for some rest, and resume work in July as the Associate Director of Communications and Outreach.

The plan is that I will continue to coordinate chapters, at least for a while, so you’ll continue to hear from me as the networking person. My hope is that the new position will free me up a bit to be more responsive to your ideas and questions, and we can keep on weaving this wonderful web of socially engaged dharma.

Here are some things to know about and get involved in for April. Please pass on to your groups:

1) April Action Alert: Peace Tax Fund
2) BPF at US Social Forum this June in Atlanta
3) Applications for new chapters to re-open by end of April
4) Way to go, Madison BPF!

1) April Action Alert: Peace Tax Fund
We continue to encourage everyone to focus on the Peace Tax Fund. BPF has endorsed this legislation, which would provide a way for people to participate in the U.S. tax system without violating their religious convictions regarding war and militarism. For complete details, including a letter that members of your chapter or group can send, please see this.

2) BPF at US Social Forum this June in Atlanta
The US Social Forum is a grassroots gathering that provides space to build relationships, learn from each other’s experiences, and bring renewed insight and inspiration to the vision that “Another World is Possible.” This year, BPF is teaming up with other spiritual activist groups to create a “Healing and Spiritual Practice Space” at the USSF. Our intention is to enliven the activities of the Forum with a wellspring of vitality, heart, and wisdom. We invite BPF members and all who are interested to come to Atlanta this summer. For more details, see this.

If you are interested in being at the USSF and representing BPF at this Spiritual Practice Space, please contact me, maia [at] bpf [dot] org, to talk about the details. We plan to register BPF as an organization, so we can sponsor up to 3 people to attend the forum.

3) Applications for new chapters to re-open by end of April
As you may know, we’ve put a hold on bringing in new chapters over the past year, to allow the Chapter Council and myself more time to have conversations to clarify chapter and BPF office relationship and expectations. A number of you have been involved in these conversations, and we are grateful for your input. By the end of this month, I will aim to have our updated Chapter Application and Agreement form ready, and I will send out to this list. Thanks for your patience on this matter.

4) Way to go, Madison BPF!
And finally, kudos to the Madison, Wisconsin, BPF chapter, who put on a very successful training in Nonviolent Communication in January (perhaps the first ever in Madison!). It was taught by Lucy Leu and Ruby Phillips. Lucy and Ruby came to Madison from Seattle, where they have been active in the Freedom Project, which trains prison returnees as peacemakers through mindfulness and NVC training. There were 101 participants at the training, who represented numerous local Buddhist sanghas, plus other peace and justice groups in the community. Big thanks to Kathy Derene and others in the chapter who made this event happen, with the help of a loan from the BPF office. If you’d like to correspond with Kathy to find out how they organized this event, you can reach her at kathy [at] derene [dot] com.

Remember — this list is not only for announcements from me! All of you can post by sending an email to bpfchapters [at] bpf [dot] org. This is a great space to share ideas about what your chapter is doing so that other groups can be inspired, or ask questions, or just about anything else. Don’t be shy about using it!

in peace,
Maia

maia [at] bpf [dot] org


[from Diana Lion:]

Dear BPF chapter people,

I know some of you, and don’t know others. I used to be BPF’s Associate Director, and founding Director of the Prison Program until serious chronic illness sent me out on medical leave. When that ended I stayed out as I’m still quite sick. However, I’m thrilled to be making direct contact with you all (by email, anyway). A warm hello to those of you I know, and looking forward to getting to know those I have not yet met.

As the new baby on board for the BPF e-newsletter, I’m interested in any and all stories that matter to YOU!!! We might not have room, but we won’t know if you don’t send them on in. So puhleeze email me your stories as long as they fit somewhat within the following guidelines.

1. Should have some connection to socially engaged Buddhism.

2. Should be of interest to readers in many geographical locations. While we do include announcements for “local” events, we try to do so when these events are relatively large in scope and it is realistic to think that readers in the larger geographical region or even across the U.S., Canada, or other countries might be interested in attending or just hearing about the event. e.g., a conference on Buddhist Women held in Chicago, with major speakers such as Karma Lekshe Tsomo; a forum organized by the Vancouver, Canada, BPF chapter at the World Peace Forum; the 2006 BPF fundraising event in San Francisco with Robert Thurman.

We want to make sure that the BPF e-newsletter is inclusive, and reflects events happening all over.

Warmly,
Diana

diana [dot] lion [at] gmail [dot] com

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