This year the Elder gathering called USAGE (MKP USA Gathering of Elders) will be held at the beautiful Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center just a short distance from Des Moines, Iowa. The dates are October 27 thru October 30. This gathering of Elders will be the first since the MKP reorganization that has recently taken place. I would like to emphasize Elders from Centers outside of US are very welcome. So, if you are an Elder, no matter where you reside please come and share this time with us.
Some of you may recall that last year I sent out a similar letter and the reason for doing so. It’s simple – I have a lot of passion for this event because it was during my time as MKP Elder Chairman and under my leadership we visualized and created the Elder gathering known as the World Elder Gathering (WEG). Some of those men who were instrumental in making that first WEG work are no longer with us. Ken Kuffner and Larry Davis are two of those men that have passed on. Ed Ally was our first WEG chairman and there were many others who gave of their time and energy.
So, now that we have a little context let’s come to the present time. This year I stepped up to become the program chairman for the USAGE Elder gathering. This has been a creative and exciting adventure. My team is made up of Scott Lederman, Roger Cox and from the women’s side Linda Brooks. Yes, there is a women’s event that will be taking place a few miles away and we are going to share a couple of the things we do with them over the course of the conference.
We have created a theme for this year’s gathering and that theme is: “By weaving together the threads of our life experiences, we elders create a tapestry of inner mastery which we actively gift to the world.”
So, with this in mind the program team began to look for ways we could bring the USAGE theme to life over the course of the weekend as well create something that every Elder could take with him after leaving the USAGE.
For starters we have Robert Moore giving our keynote on Thursday evening (women will be with us on Thursday evening) and later on during the day on Friday or Saturday he will do one of our workshop sessions. In case any of you don’t know Robert’s background he is the author of many books on archetypal energies but most important to MKP is the book, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine.”
Some of you may remember Doug Von Koss from our Texas WEG. Well, Doug is coming back and will be sharing his special blend of voice, music and wisdom. Doug will be doing several things over the weekend.
Terry Jones, our Elder Chairman, will offer two sessions on his ‘Elder Reflection Series’ so this will be a great opportunity to learn what that is all about and how it applies to an individual’s life as an Elder.
Jim Brooks will also start us off with his workshop on Shadow.
John Kalb will bring his special program on Mastering Change in Turbulent Time and later his program on Living Better and Longer.
Kirby Benson (That’s me) is going to bring an interesting session on Spiritual Androgyny, Elder Mastery and The Union of Power, Love, and Intelligence.
Roger Cox is going to present a workshop on Blessing and its importance in our lives.
Wrapping the weekend up as far as the workshops and teachings go will be Bill Kauth and his wife Zoe Alowan presenting their program on “Gift Community”. They will take us to a place of renewal and love. The women will be finished with their retreat and will join the men for this presentation.
So Elders, this is a bit of sneak preview of the USAGE. I am really excited about this program and its relevance to our lives and the lives of our loved ones and certainly the life of the planet.
Please plan on attending! Our Elder understanding, compassion and wisdom have never been as needed as they are right now. Get more details and register by going to http://usage.mkp.org. You can also get information by going to the MKP Elder Webpoage at http://elders.mkp.org.
Past MKP Elder Chair – 2003 to 2005
PS: We have built open spaces into the program for visiting, resting and to generally have a good time. The talent show goes on and there will be early morning events such as movement or exercise and so forth.