News flash


Moving Forward from the World Conference
led by Tim Jackins
February 5

Threats from Nuclear Weapons
led by Julian Weissglass
February 11

Unified Goal on the Climate
led by Diane Shisk
& Janet Kabue
March 4 or 5

I Love World Conferences

I love World Conferences. The size of the group and the amount of activity can be overwhelming. But I love being in a room with people from all over the world who share so many of my basic goals and ways of thinking about the world.

This time I remembered to use that as a contradiction to my early isolation, to a time when I felt “alone in the universe.” The phrase “If she (the baby me) could have known that someday she would experience this, things would have been very different for her” allowed me to cry hard in my first few sessions.

I was a member of the Guidelines group, which reviews and revises suggestions for Guidelines changes from the Pre-World Conferences. This allowed me to connect with leaders from around the world in the months leading up to the World Conference. I guess I’m an RC policy wonk [a person very interested in RC procedural details]. I enjoy immersing myself in the details of our policies and practice and thinking with others about how to effectively convey Community policies and explain why they are important.

I worked closely with a Guidelines subcommittee on revising the requirements for RC teachers, especially the additional prohibitions and information related to the sex industries. We felt it important that our RC teachers become clear about the significance of this rapidly accelerating and vicious form of exploitation.

The sex industries confuse people into “choosing” heavy restimulation and a numbing of their feelings, which is antithetical to everything we are about in RC. The new requirements have already promoted more counseling in this area and will hopefully help us all be better leaders, especially for younger women, women of color, economically struggling women, Gay men, and heterosexual men—all of whom can be especially vulnerable or confused in relation to the sex industries.

After the final suggestions came in, the subcommittee stayed up half the night making major changes to the Guideline and its reason. These hours were (mostly) a total joy. I got to join my mind with others in what felt like a seamless, fully cooperative way. Once again, old isolation was contradicted by what was happening at the conference, and hard happy discharge ensued.

The World Conference is unlike anything else we do together in RC. We reach for consensus, sometimes have disagreements and hard conversations, and reach again (usually with discharge in between). We all try to get it right, or at least right enough to move the Communities forward until we do it all again in four years.

Joan Karp

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

(Present Time 191, April 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00