Re-Imaginging Money: An Invitation

money-butterflyImagine you had a voice in setting the interest rate for your loan. Imagine if your savings not only earned you interest but directly benefited nonprofit organizations working for social and environmental good in the world. Or if you could meet representatives from the companies you were invested in to hear firsthand about the projects your money was helping to fund. In an age of impersonal, disconnected finance, imagine stepping out of the conventional economic model and finding a more transparent, participatory way of using money. This is already happening at RSF Social Finance. By questioning assumptions about how money works, RSF is creating new models for engaging with finance, and for forming collaborative financial relationships with communities and organizations. RSF envisions a world in which money serves the highest intentions of the human spirit and contributes to an economy based on generosity and interconnectedness.

John Bloom, Vice President – Organizational Culture at RSF, will visit MWS on November 30, 2016 to explore how we as individuals might reach a new understanding of our economic selves. By re-imagining money, reconsidering our personal habits and cultural conditioning, we can participate in creating a new economic story for ourselves and our communities. Inquiry and dialogue are essential to transforming our relationships with money. By coming together, as investors, donors, and entrepreneurs, we can explore the role of money in achieving our shared goals and find new ways to connect more deeply with what we care most about. Each of us has a purpose in life, a journey of discovery and recognition. When we are able to serve that purpose to the benefit of others, and to recognize that we in turn benefit from others’ gifts, then money can move in a way that brings greater equity to our economy and compassionate action becomes possible.

Join us for a conversation about money, values, and the need for a new economic story. This community education event is open to all. November 30, 6:30pm ~ Admission is free. Your RSVP is appreciated to assist with planning –  please type RSF in the comments section below.

Further Resources

An article describing how Community Pricing Gatherings inform the RSF process for deciding interest rates for Social Investment Fund investors and borrowers.

A Social Lender Pursues a Radical Experiment in Financial Transparency and Participation

 

Visit the RSF Social Finance website to learn how it aims to transform the field of philanthropy. Shared Gifting Circles bring collaboration, transparency and community wisdom into the grant-making process and give distribution and allocation authority to the recipients of gift money to create mutually beneficial collaborations.

Shared Gifting Circles

 

Re-Imagining Money

money-butterfly

What is money? What can our relationship with money teach us? How does money connect us to what we care most about, both personally, and as a community? Join us for an evening of conversation with John Bloom to explore these and other questions.

John Bloom is Vice President, Organizational Culture at RSF Social Finance in San Francisco. In his work at RSF he addresses the intersection of money and spirit by facilitating conversations and developing programs that support personal and social transformation. As part of this work he has also helped develop awareness of issues of land and biodynamic agriculture.

Bloom is the author of The Genius of Money and writes frequently for RSF’s Reimagine Money blog. In his latest book, Inhabiting Interdependence, he explores approaches toward transforming the conventional habits of mind and practice that have led to today’s economic imbalance in our own lives, and in society as a whole. Acknowledging that money has permeated almost every aspect of daily life, including our relationships to nature and to one another, Bloom suggests we reconsider our personal and cultural conditioning, and our systems of economic exchange. He asks us to imagine how, in the next economy, we might steward our natural resources, work, and forms of capital in a framework that supports and celebrates our humanity and our capacities as individual human beings.

John Bloom will visit Rhode Island to lead a conversation about money, values, and the need for a new understanding of our economic selves. At Meadowbrook Waldorf School on Wednesday, November 30th at 6:30 pm. Open to all, admission free. Join us, and please share this invitation to help bring voices from all walks of life into the evening’s conversation.

10 Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Faire

Holiday Faire EntertainmentThe Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire is an event not to be missed and is one that my family has looked forward to every year since we discovered it three years ago. Over time, we have learned a few tips and tricks to make the day more enjoyable and relaxing, especially with young children.

1. Arrive Early to the Holiday Faire

Parking is available in the school lot and next door at the antique barn, which is a 5-minute walk to the Faire entrance. A shuttle to and from the school is also available.

By afternoon, the lots will be quite full. If you have restless small children who will need an afternoon nap, try to arrive close to when the Faire opens at 10 am.

2. Plan your time at the Holiday Faire

Waldorf Preschool Puppet Show

There are so many things to see and do! If you plan to make your own beeswax candles, then start with this craft (more on this later).

The puppet show is delightful for adults and absolutely mesmerizing for the little ones. Scope out the show time you’d like upon your arrival so you can manage your shopping and craft-making around it.

If you have never participated in a drum circle, now is a great time to try it.  Simply sit and join in when a seat is vacated. There are also performances by the Ladies of the Rolling Pin and carolers that add to the festivities of the day; if you can catch them, it’s well worth it.

3. Spend the entire day at the Holiday Faire

Waldorf School Holiday Faire Drum Circle

It’s not that you can’t just pop in for an hour or two, but you won’t be able to experience all the Holiday Faire has to offer in a short amount of time. Some crafts are time-consuming (See Candle Dipping) and the general vibe is one that invites taking it all in without having to worry about racing out early. Three hours would probably cover it, though we personally make a whole day of it.

4. Get Around the Holiday Faire Easily with Baby

I highly recommend leaving the stroller in the car and carrying a small baby or toddler in a comfortable carrier. The hallways can get crowded at times, and the store has narrow aisles. Tuck a diaper and wipes in your bag or pocket to save a trip back to the car. There is one bathroom equipped with a changing table near the children’s crafts room.

5. Plan to start your beeswax candle dipping first.

If you plan to make your own hand-dipped beeswax candle, you may want to start that as soon as you arrive so that you can work on it throughout the day. This craft requires adding layers of wax and then waiting for each layer to cool before dipping again. Depending on the size candle you are aiming for (candles are paid for by weight), the process could take anywhere from 2 hours to all day. This is a great activity, as you’ll get to enjoy the candle with each dinner over the winter months.

6. Visit the Crystal Cave (Formerly known as the Gnome Cave)

Be sure to visit the Crystal Cave either right before or immediately after you begin the candle dipping craft. It is truly magical and not to be missed. The Crystal Cave often has long lines, particularly when the puppet show is over.

7. Make Time for Crafts

There are several crafts available for a range of skill levels. Most are suitable for young children. If you carved out the whole day, you’ll be able to get creative in the crafting rooms at a gentle pace. If you only have a little time, scope out the craft options and pick the one or two that most appeal to you.

8. Shop at the Holiday Faire Store

Waldorf Holiday Faire StoreMy best tip for visiting the beautiful school store on Sunday is to bring another adult. When it’s time to sit down and rest and give your smallest Faire enthusiasts a snack, one person can stay with them while the other sneaks away to the centrally-located market for a bit of shopping.  Of course, if you want to do some Holiday shopping without the children at all then I highly recommend going the night before to the adults only Holiday Faire event where you could enter to win a $25 gift certificate to spend at the store.

Don’t miss the used book room for lots of great reads at an even greater bargain.

9. Enjoy the Playroom

Waldorf preschool classroomNew this year is the playroom, which will offer the chance for your little ones to interact in a preschool/kindergarten or Early Childhood classroom. If you are interested in seeing what a typical day in the preschool or kindergarten program looks like and would like to speak with a staff member who can answer your questions about Waldorf education, inquire about the playroom when you arrive.

10. Peek into the Practical Arts

Waldorf handwork loom

Handwork is an essential element of a Waldorf education, and the practical art teachers will display a bit of what they do in one of the classrooms. Handwork is done in the classroom in a quiet and peaceful environment, and so it follows that this is often a quiet activity. We happened into this room unexpectedly last year and it was an welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Faire.  While our son and niece happily weaved on a natural loom made of tree branches, we enjoyed a pleasant conversation with the lovely handwork teacher.

Finally, just take it all in.

Waldorf School Play Equipment OutdoorsIf you have never visited a Waldorf school before, be sure to spend some time enjoying the play areas outside. You’ll find gardens, climbing equipment, and rope swings, as well as many obstacles and forts that the children have built during their school days.

The essence of the school is evident from the moment you arrive. Every element is purposely chosen and intended to surround the children with beauty. The entire Faire is created and held by the parents working together. It is a testament to the sense of community that is built within the school. If you pay attention, you’ll feel the love that permeates every nuance of the school and the Faire. It is a magical event, not just for the children, but for everyone who comes and enjoys this special welcoming of the Holiday Season.

Have a wonderful time at Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire!

mws faire logo

Come join in the festivities at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire. Saturday, November 23rd from 6-9 PM (Adults’ Night)
Sunday, November 24th from 10-4 (Family Day) 

 

Win $25 to Spend at the Holiday Faire Store

Adult NightStep into Winter Magic on November 23 from 6-9 PM! Join us for an evening of entertainment, shopping, and merriment at the school.  Gather around the bonfire and try the ancient fireside craft of whittling with our Practical Arts teacher.  Browse our used book room and shop our Holiday Faire store full of unique, high quality and hand crafted gift items.  Attend a reading by local author/veterinarian Vint Virga and be entertained by a strolling magician.  It’s a festive evening you don’t want to miss!

All are invited and admission is free.

How to Win a $25 Gift Certificate to the Holiday Faire Store

Be one of the first 50 guests to arrive on Saturday evening to the Holiday Faire Adult Night event and enter your name into the drawing at the reception table.  The winner’s name will be drawn at approximately 8:00 pm.

The first 25 guests to arrive will also receive a gift bag!

The Prize

A $25 gift certificate to use at the 2013 Holiday Faire store during the adult evening or during the Holiday Faire Family Day on Sunday November 24 between 10 am – 4 pm.

Who is Eligible to win the $25 Gift Certificate to the Holiday Faire Store?

Anyone not currently associated with the school.  Meadowbrook Waldorf School Community members (parents of current students, faculty, administration, and board of trustees)  are not eligible for the drawing.

How MWS Community Members Can Win Too

You are not eligible to enter the drawing yourself, but you could win too. All you have to do is bring or invite friends and family from outside of the school to Saturday night’s event. If they win the drawing you win a $25 gift certificate too!  The guest must name you as a referral on their entry to be eligible for the prize.

Come join in the festivities at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire. Saturday, November 23rd from 6-9 PM (Adults’ Night)
Sunday, November 24th from 10-4 (Family Day)
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