2017 GSV Fall Conference

Save The Date

September 21 – 24, 2017


at The Mountain, Highlands, NC

Registration will open soon.
Please check back for more information.

June Council Meeting

Greetings Dear Siblings,

The next semi-annual in person GSV Council meeting will be held in Atlanta GA, Saturday June 24 and Sunday June 25 at Positive Impact, 1117 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta GA 30309.  GSV council meetings are open for observation by members of our community and other invited guests.  And we encourage anyone in the Atlanta area, or willing to travel who is interested in GSV leadership, future conferences, GSV long term planning, or just GSV workings in-general to attend.

The Saturday meeting is scheduled from 9 am to 5pm with a lunch break. On Sunday we will meet from 9 am to approximately 1pm to wrap-up.

If you plan to attend Saturday and/or Sunday, please notify the Council so we can make accommodations for seating and building access.  Email the council at: info@gayspiritvisions.org.  A details agenda for both days will be available closer to the meeting dates.

If you plan to attend, please review the following from The GSV Policy Manual:

“Observers are welcome at Council meetings.  However, observers are expected to observe and not to comment or participate in discussions unless invited to do so by the Chair of the meeting.  Observers are different from guests who may be invited by the Council to present information or to share perspectives about items on the agenda.

“If an observer has an opinion or perspective to share, he may share it with a Council member before the meeting or at a break during the meeting.  The Council member may choose to share the perspective with the Council or may ask the observer for a short summary of the perspective.  Observers will receive a copy of the agenda if they have contacted the secretary beforehand.  Observers will be reminded that the Council has a pre-agreed agenda with time allotments to carry out much essential work, some of which is time sensitive, thus, observers will not disrupt the ongoing work of the Council by asking for information or offering suggestions which might impede the normal processes of the Council.

“As a routine practice, the chair will ask for observer feedback with a limit of 5 minutes for all observations at the end of each major section of the agenda.  If several observers desire to speak, each one can be given one or two minutes unless all wish to yield the full 5 minutes to one observer.”

Thank you for your support.

May 2017 Council Meeting

Gay Spirit VisionsDear Brothers,

We are posting this to inform you that we have a Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday 5/16/2017. Our intent was to make sure this conference call would be open to observers. However, we have encountered a technical problem and are working on a resolution which includes options suggested during the Spring Retreat open forum.

Sadly, it does not appear we will be able to correct this before the call. Therefore, we are inviting anyone that may have questions, concerns or comments to please email them to us by Monday 5/15/2017. We will be able to add to the agenda for discussion and in turn post results the following week.

Please use the email address: info@gayspiritvisions.org

Thank you for your understanding,

Mark (Thunder) Zumback, Wendell Johnson, Doug Emerson,
Bill Harris, Kraig (Nightshade) Blackwelder, Tony James, and Mahan Kalpa Khalsa.

Embrace Us With Laughter

Registration and Information about the 2017 Fall Conference should be available by mid June

The information below is from the 2017 Spring Retreat

GSV Spring Retreat

April 21 – 23 2017
The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
Highlands, North Carolina

The Sacred Fool’s Journey

Less Than Three Weeks – Please Register Soon

Register Today

Our schedule for the Spring Retreat is coming together, here’s what we have.

Aric, Randy, David, Vic, & Dave

Eric Rohner and Randy Johnson will facilitate our Journeys With the Sacred Fool using meditation, sharing, and dreaming to encourage us on those journeys.  David Chitara, Dave Cable, and Vic Mansfield have volunteered to share some personal stories to prime our pumps for the meditation and journey.

Teddy, David, Sugar, Mahan Kalpa, & Kraig

Mahan Kalpa Khalsa will lead the heartweaving on Friday evening and offer a workshop on Japanese Bondage which focuses on artistic, connective, and sensual pleasures.

David and Teddy Jones will reprise their always-popular Restorative Yoga accompanied by harp adding a “dress to your level of comfort” for this gathering.

Kraig Blackwell will share “The Wondrous and Sacred Mysteries of the 3 Sacred Trigrammatons.” It comes with laughter but should not to be mistaken for the Tetragrammaton, please! ;=}

David Chitara will offer a healing session that will likely include some gentle breathwork exercises (non-strenuous and suitable for all bodies), guided visualization, and/or intuitive healing work. Specifics will be tailored to the needs of those who attend.

Andy Foskey will lead a workshop/discussion exploring the nature of loneliness for men who love men.

Gary/Pleasure will bring tunes for movement/dance with an invitation to “Parade Your Peculiar.”

Andy & Gary
co-conveners

On Saturday evening, we’ll have a time to share your poems, songs, and stories with each other. Bring something you wrote, or a favorite created by someone who art you admire followed by some short videos.

On Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning we have built-in lots of optional free time if you wish.

Click here join to us as we embrace each other with laughter!

 


Registration at The Mountain begins at 3pm Friday.  Dinner on Friday evening begins at 6pm followed by our opening activities at 7:30 pm. Our Closing Circle begins after lunch on Sunday concluding by 2pm.

We’ll have the option to stay at The Mountain from Sunday afternoon to noon on Monday. We’ll be the only group there, but another group that will be using the lodge is arriving after lunch on Monday. You may sign up for the extra day when you register for the Spring Retreat. The price for the extra day includes meals. If fewer than 20 people sign up, you will receive a $20 refund and we’ll buy some groceries and prepare our own meals.  This extra day is not sponsored or supported by GSV.

 


Please don’t forget the Spring Silent Auction that benefits GSV’s Financial Assistance Program. It’s really simple: You bring items that you value but no longer need and buy the treasures that speak to your spirit that were brought by others. All of the proceeds allow those with limited financial resources to join us.

 

Laughter is Carbonated Prayer

GSV Spring Retreat

April 21 – 23 2017
The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
Highlands, North Carolina

Register Today

The Sacred Fool’s Journey

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common
in the world and moral courage so rare.”

― Mark Twain

The Fool and his helpers in the image here have a different story than the one we know from tarot cards. The tarot Fool is happy to let us witness his courage as he steps off on a new journey, but he shows no interest in sharing how he developed that courage.

-Jean-Antoine Watteau

The Fools in this image are from commedia dell’arte. Unlike the tarot Fool, they encourage us to join them on their journey. They are experts in the art of laughing at themselves; their mission is to teach us this life enhancing skill. The Fool dressed in white is the sad clown; he invites us to project our sadness and fear on to him. With seductive glances, some of the other clowns offer humor to encourage and support us as we explore our sadness and fear. They rejoice when we find the courage to laugh at ourselves and host a bacchanal when we go forth and encourage others to do the same.

In his book, “The Spirituality of Comedy,” published in 1996, Conrad Hyers posits, “laughter is carbonated prayer.” He uses the phrase in speaking of how best to deal with the essentially tragic nature of the human condition. Twenty-one years later, the conditions of our humanity have more potential tragedy than ever and doubly so for those of us in minority communities who have long been oppressed by the majority.

“Prayer” can be a fraught word for those who were told that if we would just pray to God, and behave in a way that pleased Him, we would get an A on the math test tomorrow despite the fact that we had straight C’s so far. Alternatively, that if we counted enough beads as we prayed, mommy and daddy would stop fighting and we could find some peace. When, despite our prayers, we got a C and our parents got divorced, the folks who prescribed this kind of prayer shamed us by suggesting that we clearly had not counted enough beads or used words that their God could understand.

Please take a breath with us …

Blessedly there is now research indicating how and why prayer does and does not produce the results we desire. That has led to a new understanding of prayer as a way to open ourselves to healing rather than subordinate our strength to some “holy” being or image. This same research describes how meditation and breath are effective tools for finding peace.

The beneficial neurochemical changes that we experience from meditation/centering prayer are also present when we laugh. When we laugh at ourselves, we find synergies that enhance carbonization. When others laugh with us as we laugh at ourselves we create an encouraging and inspiring spiritual celebration.

We touched on this briefly at last fall’s conference in the context of bullying and snark. Queer folks have long used snark as a creative response to being bullied. In addition, we have long used snark within our own community since it is usually safer to bully those in our own tribe because it feels safer than speaking truth to power.

There is a sea of difference between laughing at others and laughing at ourselves while inviting others to join us.

Enter the Sacred Fool!


We already know that The Mountain rings with the sound of laughter when we are there. One of our goals this spring is to encourage laughter that offers a deeper understanding of our hearts and the hearts of others.

Do you already know how to laugh at yourself and encourage others to join you? Are you willing to share your experience at the Spring Retreat? If so, please email Pleasure (garykaupman@gmail.com) and we will explore how that might happen.


Registration for the retreat, begins at 3pm Friday. Following dinner, the Opening Circle begins at 7:30pm. Closing Circle begins after lunch on Sunday with a goal of finishing by 2pm.

We’ll have the option to stay at The Mountain from Sunday afternoon to noon on Monday. We’ll be the only group there, but there is another group that will be using the lodge arriving after lunch on Monday. You may sign up for the extra day when you register for the Spring Retreat. The price for the extra day includes meals. If fewer than 20 people sign up, you will receive a $20 refund and we’ll buy some groceries and prepare our own meals.  This extra day is not sponsored or supported by GSV.


Please don’t forget the Spring Silent Auction that benefits GSV’s Financial Assistance Program. It’s really simple: You bring items that you value but no longer need and buy the treasures that speak to your spirit that were brought by others. All of the proceeds allow those with limited financial resources to join us.


We are happy that Aric Rohner has agreed to join us in creating the Spring Retreat. Since hierarchy holds no charm for any of us, we are giving “convener” a rest and referring to ourselves as “co-creators.” If that is not hip enough for you, please think of us as “co-makers.”

Aric Rohner

Andy (Ann Dee) Foskey

Gary (Pleasure) Kaupman

 

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