Celebrating a new leader and new graduates!
We gathered on the first Saturday in June as we do each spring to celebrate the year and our community. This year marked a special occasion, as Pnina Polishook, who has served as our Spiritual Leader and Regional Director for the last two years, passed the mantel of leadership to Rich Carlson.
The process of transitioning to a new Spiritual Leader is one the Helpers in the Philadelphia Pathwork region devote a great deal of time and care to, meeting over a period of months to prepare both individually and as a group. This process allows for a leader to emerge who has felt and answered an inner call to this role, and who the Helpers also feel has been called and fully support. Sharon Balsama, who served as Spiritual Leader before Pnina, spoke to this process and led the ceremony to usher in Rich, who studied and trained with Sharon for many years.
During the ceremony, Pnina spoke about her experience and many expressed their appreciation for all she has done as our leader, as a colleague, Helper and friend.
Rich then spoke about the guidance he had received and preparation he had gone through, on his journey over the past few months -- and from his first learning about Pathwork in Iowa City, 14 years ago. In sharing his vision, Rich chose the word love for the basis of his leadership. "When I think about this Region, love is what comes to mind. The love we have for the lecture material and for this work. The love I have for all of you and that I feel from this community. The love we have for each other. That love is what will guide me as I move into this new role and follow in the footsteps of Pnina and those who have come before me."
To symbolize the sacred responsibility and spiritual support the Spiritual Leader carries, we have a cloth mantel that we started using when leadership first transitioned from founder Carolyn Tilove to Renee Whatley. To honor Renee, who is African American, we had a mantel made from Kente cloth, a special hand-woven cloth that is sacred to certain tribes in Africa. It has now been handed down from Renee to Sharon to Pnina and now to Rich. To close the ceremony, the community shared in sending Rich a blessing, following the teaching of the Pathwork Guide.
TP 5 Graduates!
The Transformation Program is a five-year program the Region offers for those who seek to transform their lives on a deep and lasting level. It is not for the feint of heart, and we celebrated 8 graduates who have journeyed together, first for three years with Carolyn Tilove and Amy Rhett and for the last two with Amy and Gayle Lacks:
As part of TP5's graduation ceremony, Mark Matteson read the following poem that he wrote while hiking in Colorado. Following the graduation, everyone celebrated with dancing to Pharrell Williams' Happy! and a fabulous potluck lunch organized by Susan Walker and other members of the CCC Day committee!