Surprise! Church at Burning Man

By Anna Lisa Kronman – Full story here

Burning Man 2013 hands sculpture

What would inspire folks to shelve their iPhones and computers for a week, wait (with extraordinary patience!) for long hours in line to camp out in a severe desert environment, pack in all food and water, and pack out all trash, enduring dirty fingernails and dusty feet?  An annual event called Burning Man with these elements, and more, brought over 60,000 such folks together this year in a remote Nevada desert.  The rules for the community are basic (and can be see in their entirety here: http://www.burningman.com/).  In my reading of them, they are essentially a pragmatic statement of the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)  A unique element of Burning Man is its gift-based, rather than consumer-based economy.  The only things for sale are ice and coffee, and the proceeds go to a charitable organization.  Everyone that comes is expected to give something.  Also part of this culture: extraordinary creativity, art, loud music, a markedly friendly and open/permissive atmosphere, and whimsical clothing (or sometimes none.)

A group of people who love Christian Science felt there was a good reason to be a presence in this city.  We came to wash feet.

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