All posts by Gabriel Serafini

Anna Lisa’s article about last year’s Burning Man experience is live on ChristianScience.com

Burning Man hands
Photo by Anna Lisa Kronman

Anna Lisa contributed a lovely write-up of her experiences as a camp participant at the 2013 Burning Man festival that has now been published on ChristianScience.com.

We prayed thoughtfully and earnestly for ourselves and all those who would be coming, but we arrived with few outlined outcomes. We planned to gently embrace this city of lively seekers by seeing their spiritual worthiness as we washed dust from their feet. What a surprise that in doing so, we discovered we were in the middle of church! Being in this very unique environment led me to some new thinking on what constitutes Church. Here are a few ideas that came to me in that windswept space about Church pared down to its core essence.

Click here to read the entire article.

Our “Healing Foot Wash Life Truth Love” camp received Placement for 2014 Burning Man!!!

2014 Burning Man Placement for our camp

We’ve just received word that we’ve been granted Placement for 2014 Burning Man.  This means we’ll have an assigned location for our camp this year, and will be able to share this ahead of time with anyone who might like to visit or participate during the event.  It also means we’ll be able to send a small group ahead of time to setup camp so we’re ready to serve once the general gates open to the public.  We’ll be on Isfahan street, near 9:15.  Full map

From the email :

Congratulations!!!

It is our pleasure to inform you that Healing Foot Wash Life Truth Love has been officially placed for Burning Man 2014: Caravansary!

Your camp has frontage on Isfahan and your nearest nearest cross street is 9:15. Your camp will measure approximately 150 by 50. If your dimensions contain a + or – sign, it means you are an odd shape.

It is impossible to give out exact addresses because there are still a number of variables that may occur right up until the day your camp arrives on the Playa. We try to accommodate camps as much as possible, and sometimes that means making changes up until the very end. Don’t worry, because we really do have everyone’s best interests at heart!

We have approved 8 Early Arrival Passes to be used on or after Thursday before the event.

A big thank you to everyone who has been supporting this effort, particularly in a metaphysical and prayerful manner!

Notes from tonight’s Christian Science at Burning Man group planning call

You bring love from my feet to my heart -- Alana
You bring love from my feet to my heart — Alana

Nice call tonight!  We’re getting into the fun planning details now.  Please review the 3 items below, you may have a TO-DO item or two.

New time for our calls:
Starting next week (7/13/14) we will be moving to 5pm Pacific for our group planning conference calls.  We will also be moving to a weekly call schedule, so please please mark this on your calendar and set a reminder for yourself.  It is very helpful to have everyone on each call going forward so we don’t have to follow up with individuals as we’re planning final logistics.

Kitchen Contributions due by 7/15/2014
In the next week (i.e. as soon as possible), for all confirmed ticket-holders, please send a check payment for $100, made out to Amanda. This will go directly towards our food purchases for the week we’ll be camping together.  We will track these contributions, and if we happen to get sufficient external donations to fully fund everything including our food costs, we should be able to refund this back (although please do not count on this happening, it’s a big MAYBE).  John & Michelle’s food costs will be covered by the group.

TO-DO for Everyone: Please: 1) Send the Kitchen Contribution payment in by 7/15 and 2) Send an email to Amanda confirming you’ve sent the payment.  Her direct email address is craftegirl@hotmail.com.

Travel planning:
We started to get a count of how people are expecting to travel to Burning Man.  We still need information for the following people who were not on the call tonight:

Julian
Andrea
Patricia
John & Michelle Tyler
Cristi

Your TO-DO: If you were not on the call tonight (i.e. your name is on the list above), please reply to this email with your expected transportation option from the options below:

Berkeley Group 1: (Assuming we receive Placement) – Will leave late Thursday evening or early Friday morning (8/21 or 8/22) and will transport all major camp supplies, material and setup tools, to arrive at Burning Man sometime Friday.  This group will build out the camp and claim our assigned location.

Berkeley Group 2: Will leave Berkeley Saturday 8/23 and stay with Reno church families Saturday night, go to church Sunday morning and then head for Burning Man afterwards.  If we do NOT receive Placement for our camp, Group 1 will be combined with Group 2.

Other / Self Transportation: Options include: Burner Bus, taking your own vehicle (we have plenty of Vehicle Passes so that will not be a problem), getting a ride with someone else.  Specify which of these you’ll be going with so we make sure everyone is covered.

Thanks again everyone, and looking forward to our next call:

5pm Pacific time, 7/13/14
(619) 326-2772
Access code: 1246521

June 2014 Letter to our Church Friends

5x7_postcard_2014_front_01c

Greetings friends!  This is the postcard and letter we sent out to many churches and friends recently.  If you know anyone who might appreciate seeing this, please feel free to share this with them!  There are less than 2 months until Burning Man happens and things are really starting to to come together!  Thanks again to everyone on the team who has been contributing so that everything get done that needs to get done!

5x7_postcard_2014_back_01c

June, 2014

Dear Church friends,

We all love to share “a cup of cold water”, the profoundly good news of Christian Science, with receptive hearts. The purpose of this letter is to acquaint you with how a group of us has been doing that at an unusual venue, and invite your prayerful and financial support as we continue this year. We appreciate your sharing this letter as widely as you can, posting it if possible, along with the card.

The event is Burning Man 2014, a temporary city of over 60,000 who meet for a week in the Nevada desert to share art, music, a gift-based economy, and free thinking. For a number of years, a few students of Christian Science have been a part of this community, sharing the good news of Christian Science healing. This blossomed into a somewhat larger group giving Christian Science lectures in 2012 and again in 2013 to some wide-open listeners.

Our informal group of Christian Scientists will be bringing John Tyler, CSB, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, to interested and hungering hearts this year. In addition to supporting the lectures, the group will be washing feet again (a very well-received gift offered last year), giving away copies of the Bible and Science and Health, and offering prayer or Christian Science treatment to any who request it.

Though the group participating in the desert is not large, the positive impact of sharing the Comforter is huge! Support by all who love the good it can accomplish is invaluable, and we invite you to join us in this. Here are three specific areas we welcome your participation:

  • Please join us in prayer in support of our time there from August 24 – September 1 2014: prayer that sees man as whole, pure, good, including all coming to Burning Man. We would appreciate prayer now as well, as we prepare.
  • Send us books to give away! We’re looking for loved, used copies of Science
    and Health
    and the Bible to give away as gifts at our camp. Written in or underlined is OK. Books may be sent to Christian Science at Burning Man, Care of First Church of Christ, Scientist, 795 West Peckham Ln., Reno, NV 89509.
  • Give financial support. Lecture fees, vehicle rentals, gas, and food are some of
    the expenses that will be covered by donations from individuals and churches. Thank you in advance! Checks may be made payable to “Cal Berkeley CSO” with a memo line of “Burning Man”, sent to Christian Science Organization, 2601 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704. Any amount is appreciated.

You can find more information, videos of the Burning Man lectures, pictures, links to articles, and may donate online via PayPal here: http://spiritualplaya.org/donate/.

Thank you for your interest, prayers and support!

Lovingly,
The Christian Science at Burning Man team

Download PDF: 2014 Letter to churches

Fujiko Signs 2013 full Burning Man Christian Science Lecture “Love without limit, Life without fear”

Video not showing? Click here to view on YouTube.

Fujiko Signs, C.S.B. gave a 50 minute Christian Science lecture at the 2013 Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada titled “Love without limit, Life without fear”. The talk was delivered at the Red Lightning Camp main stage.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below!

2014 Burning Man Camp Placement Questionnaire Submitted!!!

2013_Healing_Foot_Wash_Life_Truth_Love_Placement_layout-revised_02

Close to the last minute (it’s due at 12pm later today) but I got it submitted.  A couple of new points:

  1. If we receive Placement, we’ll be required to arrive before Gate opens to setup our camp.  This will impact our scheduling.  We’ll need at least 1 person on-site to secure our placed location, and they request we have our camp fully setup before the general public begin arriving on Sunday.  We’ll probably shoot for somewhere between 3-6 people to be part of the Build Team, possibly up to 12.  Our earliest arrival date will be Thursday, August 21, 2014.
  2. We had to submit a name that was 33 characters or shorter for our Camp name.  I chose “Healing Foot Wash Life Truth Love” for this purpose, since our previous “official” name was too long.
  3. I requested placement in the 9:00 Portal, 7:30 Portal and 9:00 Streets areas, each with 150′ of frontage area.

Here are some of the responses to key questions in the application:

2014 Burning Man Placement Application

Camp/Village Name?

Please provide the name of your Camp or Village. You will be limited to 33 characters.

You may wish to drop words like “A”, “The”, and even “Camp” from your camp name for better positioning in alphabetical listings.

To honor our principle of de-commodification, we ask that you not include the name of your commercial enterprise in your camp name.

“Healing Foot Wash Life Truth Love”

Interactivity Description

Please describe your Camp and how you will promote personal interactivity of our community within your Camp at this year’s event.  Please be as specific and concrete as possible.  We are interested in reading your schedule of events, your plans for service, gifting and hosting in detail. (This is the most important information we are collecting from you).

HEALING FOOT WASH

Our camp enthusiastically provides foot wash stations in a loving, safe, non-sexual environment where visitors can sit on comfortable chairs and have their feet washed.  In 2013 we washed hundreds of people’s feet, and received glowing reviews from everyone (see below for some of their comments).  Many people were surprised to find us (we were unplaced last year) and visited us each day once they found us.

OUR MOTIVATION

We’re asked why we wash people’s feet? Our goal is simply to love everyone who visits in the purest way we can, by providing a much needed and appreciated service.  We also discuss spiritual topics with visitors if they’re interested, and share additional gifts of loved spiritual books if appropriate.  Our motivation is based in the Biblical examples of foot washing as a pure service of love.

This year we’re returning with more camp participants, and plan to wash even more feet.  It was a totally awesome experience last year, and this year will be even better.

SCHEDULE

We provide manned foot wash stations primarily during daylight hours, from breakfast through dinner time.  Our goal is to have 10 stations ready at all times.  We’ve recruited additional participants to ensure there are always people available to provide the service.

INTERACTIVITY

We encourage our “customers” to return and wash other people’s feet, but they must have their feet washed first.  We provide the supplies (dilute vinegar, soap, water, basins, lotion) and example of how to do it.

METHOD

1) Sit, remove shoes, socks

2) Place feet in clean basin, rinse with dilute vinegar / water mixture using squeeze bottle

3) Apply dilute Dr. Bronner’s soapy water using squeeze bottle

4) Rinse with clean water

5) Towel dry

6) Optional (most people want this) – apply foot lotion and massage feet / calfs

7) Sit, relax, talk

8) Once done, dispose of water in evaporator, clean basin for next use.

We also provide fresh cold water to drink and light snacks like cold grapes.

SHADE STRUCTURE

We provide a 60’x40′ public shaded area that provides relief from the hot sun.  Our foot wash stations are located under the shade structure, but there are no walls, so it is a very nice open, airy relaxing environment.

OPEN TO ALL

We gladly welcome everyone to our camp, both to receive foot wash service as well as to give.

“CUSTOMER” RESPONSES

Some of the comments / notes people left last year:

“This is the best gift I’ve gotten at Burning Man, and I’ve been coming for many years”

“You bring love from my feet to my heart – Alana”

“Best Foot Wash Ever”

“This is Love – Nels S.B. C.A.”

“)'( You guys have made me shoot rainbows out of my toes. You are beautiful expressions of love!”

“Thanks for the fresh feet. Ethiopia Joe”

“A perfect find – Love Lee, NYC”

We are totally looking forward to this year and having a “home” within the Burning Man community for this much appreciated service.

 

Acculturation

Familiarizing newer Burning Man event participants to our culture and community is a vital role of Placed Camps.

How does your camp encourage Participation, teach about the 10 Principles and set expectations about what it means to be a Burner?

Please describe how your Camp acculturates its members and the greater community.

Our camp holds regular (every 2-3 weeks) conference calls going over Burning Man principles and how we plan to express them.  We also have a group that has been focusing on the spiritual as well as practical applications of the 10 Principles, and thinking of inspiring ways of embodying those Principles.

We love all 10 of the Principles.  The Principles we strive to embody / express most in our camp are Radical Inclusion, Gifting (the main reason many of our participants are coming with us), Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Participation and Immediacy.

We scored 100% clean on the MOOP map last year (aka we Left No Trace).  Our camp is very low impact, and we emphasize with all new participants the need to really embrace the principles of Burning Man, including subscribing to Jack Rabbit Speaks, reviewing thoroughly the Burning Man website, and learning from our past experiences at Burning Man.

Physical Description 

We need a description of the layout of your Camp. Please describe the physical aspects with as much detail as possible. Include a description of features like structures, buildings, vehicles, tents, platforms, and the locations of your power sources. Maximum of 400 words.

Our camp consists of a central welcoming area defined by a 40’x60′ open public shade structure.  This structure is composed of a central 6’x6′ column with 14′ bracing for reflective shade cloth that extends out in a cross shape.  We have a 30′ dome (from Shelter Systems) that we provide as a public quiet space for reading (as well as camp participant sleeping area).  We have additional tents for sleeping, a kitchen area, a water evaporator.  We use solar panels for our light power needs.  Our lighting is all solar powered LED.  We park cars and RVs in the back of our camp, as our purpose is expressly to be warm and welcoming to public interaction.  We have a private shower that is for use of our campers.  We have bike parking in the front of the camp.

Public Listing on our website:

What you should know when you submit your Camp description for the website:

  1. Please limit your description to two sentences. Remember, this is our voice to the world. Please consider this when submitting.
  2. Please give us the correct URL; any future changes to the web address will be difficult.
  3. All submissions will be reviewed and may be edited.
  4. After your submission it will take about two weeks for the description to appear on the site.

Please include the description of your Camp that you would like to have included on the Burning Man website.

Text for website listing

Come have your feet washed in a quiet, safe and loving environment.  You may come back and wash other people’s feet after you’ve had yours washed, all are welcome!

Regardless of the decision of the Placement team at Burning Man, we’re confident we will be in our right place at 2014 Burning Man and will have the opportunity to be of service to hundreds of people during the week-long festival!

STEP program for Burning Man tickets now open… also progress on our Placement application!

Revised 2014 Christian Science at Burning Man camp placement layout
Revised 2014 Christian Science at Burning Man camp placement layout

First of all, if you’re thinking of joining us at Burning Man this year, you’ll need a ticket. To get this ticket (if you don’t already have one) you’ll need to register for a Burning Man profile and then click the button that says sign up for the STEP program. This will put you in a queue to purchase tickets when other people put them up for sale. That’s it for now! We’re still looking for a few more tickets for our core team so if you happen to have an extra or two, please let us know.

In other news, we’ve made some good progress on our application for Placement (i.e. a reserved space) for our camp at Burning Man. Specifically, we’ve completed the first draft of our camp layout diagram (a required part of the submission.) What do you think?

What does (de)commodification mean? [Video]

Worth a watch!

From the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man’s 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world.

To commidify oneself (or to be commidified) is to be easily measurable, rankable, and knowable.  Burners, who come out of a capitalist counter-cultural context, tend to think of that in economic terms – and that’s certainly true.  The term “commodity” means something that is bought and sold.  But the process of commodification – of turning something into a product suitable for purchase – also has everything to do with social class, with big data, with the quantified self, and with the kind of psychology that seeks to make us all simpler and shallower rather than deeper and more complex.

When we commodify we seek to make others, and ourselves, more like things, and less like human beings.   “Decommodification,” then, is to reverse this process.  To make the world and the people in it more unique, more priceless, more human.

We are not objects, you and I.  We are not apps, we are not code, we are not commodities.  Nothing that we are can truly be bought or sold, and we are more important than things. The principle of Decomodification is a reminder of that, and a challenge to bring that insight into our lives.

Full post (and comments) here: http://blog.burningman.com/2014/02/tenprinciples/what-does-it-mean-to-have-decommodification-as-a-principle/