Speaker: Anne and Terry Symens-Bucher

Making Peace, One Block at a Time

Anne and Terry are the co-founders of Canticle Farm, located in the Fruitvale District of East Oakland. Inspired by the life of Francis of Assisi, Canticle Farm is a community providing a platform for the Great Turning, one heart, one home, and one block at a time. The Great Turning-- the planetary shift from an industrial-growth society to a life-sustaining society- -is served by Canticle Farm through local work that fosters forgiveness in the human community and compassion for all beings. Canticle Farm primarily focuses on the poor and marginalized as those who most bear the burden of social and planetary degradation, as well as being those who are first able to perceive the need for the Great Turning. Rooted in spiritual practice, Canticle Farm manifests this commitment by engaging in the Work That Reconnects, integral nonviolence, gift economy, restorative justice practices, urban permaculture, and other disciplines necessary for regenerating community in the 21st Century.

Anne currently serves as Joanna Macy’s executive assistant. She has traveled extensively with Joanna, participated in dozens of Macy’s workshops and is herself a facilitator of the Work That Reconnects. Anne is a founding member of Nevada Desert Experience and currently serves on its Board. She has been involved in work for justice, peace, nuclear disarmament, nonviolence, and ecological sustainability for more than 35 years.

Terry earned his Master of Divinity degree at the Franciscan School of Theology and a law degree from UC Hastings. He has facilitated Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects, participated as a teaching elder with a men’s group, serves as the Board member for St. Anthony Foundation and has just completed a year-long soulcraft immersion program with Bill Plotkin and Jade Sherer of Animas Valley Institute. Anne and Terry are the parents of five children.

In their own words, "We want to take down the physical fences in the neighborhood, and the fences in our hearts, because we know our real security is not in our fences or the bars on our windows, but in our relationships. This is the way to peace. We have misguided 'warrior' energy in our neighborhood. Our young people are fighting and dying to protect their 'turf.' We want to suggest that 'the turf is the earth.' These young people are our future and we need to invest in them. That means redirecting their 'warrior' energy toward fighting for and protecting both open space in our neighborhood so we can grow our food locally, as well as our creek system, which is currently trashed."

"We know about peak oil and global climate change, how the system is coming apart, so we're part of the Transition Town movement (www.transitionnetwork.org), and try to help each other to get ready for the future by growing our own food and taking care of one another, so that when things do fall apart, we won't turn on one another. We could go to the neighbors and say, 'The end is coming, so start growing your food and get ready,' or, we could say, 'Let's grow our own food now because it's fun, we can share it with one another, get to know one another, and build a safer and beautiful community.'"

Please join us on Saturday, the 25th of May to hear the inspiring story of Anne and Terry and how they are spreading love, one block at a time....

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