The World Elder Gathering 2010 will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, October 20 – 23, 2010.  The guiding vision for the program is listed at the top of this email.

Some of you have asked questions about holding the World Elder Gathering in a city which is so different from the previous six gatherings where we were in a rural, pastoral setting.  

I am going to share some background that brought us to the place of holding the World Elder Gathering in Louisville, Kentucky.

After a lot of discussion, heartfelt concern for elders, and love for MKP, Gene McMahon and his court (I was on it at the time.) on behalf of the MKP Elder Council decided to place the WEG 2010 the same week as the The ManKind Project 25 Year Anniversary conference and celebration.  The hope in doing this is that elders will be able to be together with a good program and be a part of this important MKP celebration.  All groups and organizations that have had a relationship with MKP over these past 25 years are invited to join in the celebration, e.g., Women Within International, Boys to Men, and various constituencies.

In order to make it possible for elders to be at the 25th anniversary celebration, the WEG will be in overlap with the celebration for at least a day.  The WEG 2010 will begin on the evening of October 20 the main activities of the anniversary celebration will be October 22 and 23.

So this year’s WEG will be different than the past ones and I imagine the future ones.  I am serving on the 25th anniversary planning committee.  This group is quite excited about the program which will conclude with a big celebration on Saturday night, October 23.  MKP, through its Chairman, has made it clear how much it means to have the elders be a part of this celebration and understands the sacrifices by the elders to make that happen.

So how do we balance our desire to be in a pastoral, spiritual setting with the opportunity to be with our warrior brothers for this one-time gathering to celebrate the first 25 years of MKP and receive inspiration for the next 25 years?  Not an easy task from my perspective!

The WEG Planning Committee has been meeting weekly by phone for 2 months.  We are creating what we hope will be a good program.  We are very aware of the concerns some of you have raised.  Much of what happens will be at the Galt House Hotel on the Ohio River in downtown Louisville. 

We are also looking at how we can get at least a little of the WEG off site.  Across the river in Indiana is the site of a 386 million year-old fossil bed.  We would love to have the opening ceremony there.  

We imagine that there are some small groups who may wish to meet outside and just two or three blocks from the hotel there are some parks and open places where one could sit fairly secluded on benches or walk along the river.  Other creative ideas may emerge as planning continues.

We don’t have it all figured out and we know it won’t be as pastoral as all the ones in the past were.

  Yet, we feel that this is a really important moment in the history of MKP and it will be good for the elders to be there learning from their own work and blessing and sharing wisdom with the MKP family.

Thank you for your love of spiritual elder work.  I hope that when you see what is being created for WEG 2010 your spirit will find something in Louisville that speaks to you and brings you to spend time with elders from around the world.  I want to be one of many men and women who welcome you.

Blessings for your journey,

Allan Podbelsek
Loving Llama, the Visionary
Chairman, WEG 2010