Conference “Community in conversation” from 08.–11.05.2024

Conference “Community in conversation” from 08.–11.05.2024

in the community of Altenschlirf and at the Campus am Park

For the second time, the Anthroposophic Council for Inclusive Social Development organized the conference “Community in Conversation” – this time in the community of Altenschlirf with the Campus am Park and Gasthaus Schmidts in Hesse (Germany).

Participants from seven nations exchanged views on the “seasonal festivals and rituals” (this year’s conference theme) of their communities and shared how and why they are celebrated in their different ways.

The conference guests were able to experience this impressively at the Ascension Day celebrations of the community of Altenschlirf, to which they were invited with a very natural gesture.

To kick off the conference on Wednesday evening, the participants were invited to a performance of “The Fair Maid of the Mill” – an inclusive Schubert song recital project with fairy tale eurythmy, with which artists from the community are currently touring through Germany and Switzerland.

The Ascension Day began with the traditional morning celebration of the community of Altenschlirf, which took place on this holiday, as it usually does every Sunday, in the Wilhelm Meister Hall of the community.

After working on the content of the conference theme, starting with the four seasons and then taking a big international journey through the course of the year and its events, the Ascension Day was concluded with a joint folk dance to beautiful live music in the romantic castle park at sunset.

Workshops on sensory experience in nature, blueprinting with plants, weekly verses and eurythmy, writing elf poems about the seasons, song composition and circus were offered on the second day of the conference and were taken up passionately and enthusiastically by the approximately 75 conference participants. At the end of the conference on Saturday morning, the results were shown, performed and sung!

The guided tour of the Fulda Dome and the neighboring St. Michael’s Church, Germany’s second oldest preserved church, offered further cultural highlights of the conference.

The residents of the community of Altenschlirf invited the conference guests to a barbecue evening and a lively get-together was created with around 220 people with plenty of opportunity to meet each other – with delicious sausages and steaks from the Altenschlirf farm and fine raclette cheese from Melchiorsgrund. All other meals were lovingly prepared for the conference community by Gasthaus Schmidts.

During the four days, we were accompanied by various seasonal songs from the participants’ countries – we sang together in German, Swedish, English and Bulgarian.

How should the conference continue? Everyone agreed that it should continue – and that the topic of “seasonal festivals and rituals” could also be worked on further, as a possibility. The only remaining question for the “traveling conference” format is: Where? Perhaps in the cultural center in Järna, Sweden – the two colleagues present from Mikaelgården in Sweden are taking this question with them. We will all be delighted if an invitation is extended to the North and the conference is carried around the world in this way by the participants.

Date 2025 over Ascension Day from 28–31.05.2025.

Further information will be published on the Council’s website, as of October “Section for Inclusive Social Development”. Sign up for the newsletter to stay informed.

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Tobias Rädler, Community of Altenschlirf,
and Sonja Zausch, leadership team of the Council