HT in 2009 by Steve Farrell
May you and your family enjoy a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a warm Rosh Hashanah, a joyful New Year, real connection in Ramadan, and wonderful celebration this Winter Solstice and holiday season.
As we come up on the holidays and end of year, I’d like to update you on things we’ve accomplished together in 2009 and key plans going into 2010. 2009 has been a year unlike any up until now – it has been an amazing year! We’ve all contributed to this and I’d like to thank each of you! Thank you for making this our most productive year working as a team together! I’d also like to give special thanks to Anna-Mari who was central to so many of our accomplishments in 2009.
As you know, we celebrated an absolutely stunning Oneness Summit in Pretoria South Africa with Desmond Tutu, our 2009 Spiritual Leadership Award winner. The program at Freedom Park emphasizing the critical role that Oneness plays in the world was fabulous beyond words. Anna-Mari planned the whole event and was in the lead reaching out to Desmond Tutu to receive our award. The whole experience was simply awesome! On behalf of all of Humanity’s Team I’d like to thank Anna-Mari from the bottom of my heart.
Our Oneness Day petition and campaign gathered momentum this year as well. We entered the year with about 4,000 signatures and we will exit the year with about 24,000 signatures. This is an enormous accomplishment! We still have a ways to go to get to our 50,000 signature goal by May of next year but we have come a long way. Each of you have contributed to this huge success and I’d like to thank each of you. I’d like to give special thanks to the Oneness Task Team and the past coordinator of the team, Anna-Mari, who brought us to where we are now. As you know Anna-Mari has recently stepped back from her role as Oneness Task Team Coordinator to focus on being a participant instead of coordinator, and also to focus on Humanity’s Team South Africa and fundraising. Anna-Mari gave us a tremendous lift and guided us to where we are today. Now we must all work together to deliver the 50,000 petition signatures we agreed to bring to New York City next year. Many hands make light work -– let’s create a coordinated process to shoulder the load in each country. We can do this by making sure we have a team in each country focused on this spiritual activism initiative. Duysal Askun is skilled in building functional teams and will help lead this project. We will soon be arranging a global conference call to talk about this program and to ask each of you to help us identify a coordinator in your country responsible for the petition and other Oneness campaigns that will follow. Please begin thinking about this now. I know some of you have teams set up already. We’d like to identify strong self-starters, passionate about awakening the world to Oneness, who are real spiritual activists, to lead each country team. Working together, we shall make this happen.
A brief update on our key global activity follows:
Abundance & Finance
Lynn Launer is responsible for this function. In addition to maintaining the accounting function, creating monthly financial statements, creating and filing tax returns, this function keeps our donor services function and fundraising on track. We are on more solid ground here than we were in the past thanks to the keen analysis and day-to-day focus of Lynn. Lynn is to be commended for working very hard to create strong mission critical financial systems supporting our global activity. An exciting endeavor this past year has been “Spirituality in Action”, a new abundance program for people who will contribute $10 per month or more. Lynn and the host of the program, Rachael Jayne Groover, have for been working very hard to create this new global program that financially nurtures Humanity’s Team and offers generous transformational tools to those participating. We’ll begin promoting this program shortly in the newsletter, social networks and in our global and community programs. For just $10 per month people will receive a book by Neale on Spiritual Leadership, access to monthly interviews with key New Spirituality authors and speakers, participation in a monthly teleconference call and more. This is a very exciting program! When we were in South Africa together, many of you shared that you’d like to help create financial abundance for our global initiatives. You can do this by promoting “Spirituality in Action” in your country. We will very much appreciate your assistance in this now. Please reach out to Lynn to learn more about “Spirituality in Action”.
Education & Inner Work
Dimitra and Maria coordinate our Education & Inner Work function. One of the key things we talked about in South Africa at our Global Council meeting was the process for launching and maintaining local Humanity’s Team communities. We must not be a global grassroots spiritual movement based in the virtual world alone. It is very important that we bring our educational programs focusing on beliefs about God and about life to local communities, person-to-person. As we know, inner work is very important. We must all create a daily practice that grounds us in our heart and soul where we feel real connection with God and each other. We must also create real physical community where we leave our computers and homes to connect with people who live nearby and who are committed to living their lives in Oneness. Finally, we must have a meeting place where we can talk about our Humanity’s Team global and local initiatives including key items such as our Oneness Day petition. In South Africa, we said we envisioned that we all would place a focus on creating local HT communities near our home so we could do all of these things. Dimitra and Maria have been working on a menu of the different kinds of meetings currently being held around the world so people can easily review what programs we offer, how to set up a group, how to become trained as a facilitator, and more. The program menu on our global web site will shortly be updated so all of this information is available. Teammates will be able to review descriptions of successful community program formats, obtain contact information when they want to learn more and schedule facilitator training. We look forward to this new material going live on our global web site shortly.
One last item here, maturing H.T. communities have begun to create service projects to reach out to parts of the community needing attention such as homeless shelters, shelters for family members who have experienced domestic abuse, climate change initiatives, and more. It is very natural that when we see we are all One, we desire to be of assistance to those parts of our community/Self that are not currently healthy and joyful. On a global level, we’ve been participating in the Integral/State of the World Forum initiative focusing on climate change where we’ve been sharing our perspective – the environment and climate are part of who we are, part of our whole Self. How can we not work to make our planet, our environment and our climate healthy! We look forward to growing our community service projects in 2010.
Strategic Communications & Alliances
Gerry coordinates our process for strategically placing into words the current focus, background and vision for our work. He also reaches out to potential key strategic partners to see if there is synergy in working closely together. He is in the process of updating our profile for strategic partners even as he adds new partners who are aligning with us. Gerry is also creating the 2010 Global Council plans in New York where we will be meeting in May. As well, he has been in the lead reaching out to our 2010 award winners: Andrew Harvey for our Spiritual Leadership award and Pete Seeger for our lifetime achievement award. Gerry is doing a magnificent job of planning our meeting next year. We look forward to all the things in store for us!
Newsletter, Video Communications, blogs and Social Networking
Nannette coordinates the process of putting together our global newsletter, our video communications in close coordination with Gerry, creating blogs for our “Voices of Oneness” area, and Humanity’s Team updates on Facebook and Twitter. Each of these communications are vital and Nannette has raised the bar in 2009 creating strong content, process, and organization so our communications are powerful, professional and well organized when they go out. We are grateful for her strong planning and execution!
One other item of note, Nannette coordinates our day-to-day donor services activity. She has been working with Lynn to see that our donors are polled for opinions, updated on key initiatives, invited to participate in the movement in ways they might like, and warmly thanked for their contributions. Going into 2010 we will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the experience for donors contributing to Humanity’s Team.
IT, Web & Intranet
Chip coordinates the process of updating and maintaining our global web site, Google Docs, and our intranet. Our web site continues to be a source of major inspiration to teammates and people new to Humanity’s Team. He has led the process of updating it so as the movement grows, the impact and style in which we communicate remain the same. Currently he is coordinating the process of updating the site for key initiatives such as “Spirituality in Action”, “Launching local HT Communities” and more. We continue to receive rave reviews on our global web site. Chip has been in the lead and deserves much of the credit!
A few other items related to the IT function:
- John David Kirby worked with a team of leaders from around the world to create our Intranet. The first version was launched about three months ago to very favorable comment from many of you. Chip intends to work with others to enhance the productivity tools and the overall Intranet experience. To John who is traveling now in India -- awesome job!
- Chip and Gerry are working with Bill Koerner, who used to be our IT coordinator, on enhancing the New Spirituality Network. Martin Bühler is also part of the team, acting as an adviser. The team is making the NSN site much more dynamic and interactive than it's been so that subscribers can, for the first time, search for daily inspirational e-mails, comment on them, interact with other subscribers and do many other things associated with Web 2.0 that qualitatively improve the NSN experience.
- Ladislav and Martin generously agreed to work on a strategic country web site platform that will interact with our global web site. Chip, Ladislav, Martin and I have scheduled several conference calls to discuss our vision for this project and Chip led a process for prioritizing requirements so we can see what functions the country site might address initially. Chip is now arranging for Ladislav’s team to receive a development site so functions can be created and tested.
You may have seen our promotion for a campaign called “Show the world how you express Oneness”. The lead banner on our global web site features this key new program. Angie Lile, our videographer, created this campaign and the promotion surrounding it. Chip helped Angie to bring this program along and solicited Nannette’s and Gerry’s valuable assistance. If you have not done so already, please go to our global web site and review the short promotional video. We are asking people from each country to send us a short video showing how you express Oneness. Please share this campaign with people in your country -- we’d love to see how YOU express Oneness. The campaign calls for people to send Angie a video by 1/31/10 so you might want to send out a note to teammates in your country now.
Duysal coordinates our strategic marketing endeavors. This is a new project area that is still being defined but it includes creating collateral material leveraging our awareness building and fundraising programs. She also analyzes like minded NGO’s and INGO’s to assess our differentiation. Duysal has recently offered to help build functional teams so we can coordinate some of our global initiatives across the countries. This will help us spread our workload out more evenly so it is not concentrated on one or two individuals. It also creates the opportunity for deeper global collaboration, inspiration and joyful expression.
Ruth heads our translations team programs for our newsletter, other communications and video programs. She has been a leader in the movement promoting our cultural diversity and has worked very hard to get our leadership focused on launching initiatives that are multi-lingual right from the start.
Nancy coordinates our world’s regions program focusing on: country coordinator identification, interviewing, warm initiation, integration and progression planning. She is also the leader of the Humanity’s Team Ning community and is extensively involved in helping to relaunch HT USA.
Countries & Communities
As you know, many wonderful things are going on at a country and community level. I will not attempt to update you on all of the creative and powerful things going on other than to say “WOW!” Together, in South Africa, we heard updates from Argentina, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and other countries. There are many compelling forms of outreach going on including: community petition drives, collaboration with other activist organizations, media outreach to spread our messages of Oneness through radio and television, creation of themed New Spirituality campaigns, and much more.
I’d like to close by thanking each of the Worldwide Support Team members for their commitment, planning and skilled implementation this past year. I’d like to thank each of you on the Global Council who have been effectively coordinating activities in your country for your passion, your commitment, and your leadership. Alone, there is little we can do, but together we’ve demonstrated our vision -- awakening the world to Oneness in this generation -- is not only possible, it is unstoppable. As we say when we are together physically, it is done, it is done, it is done. To each of you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this possible.
All my love,