Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This(tle) Teach Ya

Last Monday morning, we gathered early in the large, unfinished space on Charlotte Pike, future home of the Thistle Stop Café. Some days, the meeting area in the main side of the building just isn’t big enough to hold our ever-widening circle. We happily find the space to expand with it. Standing amid donated boxes of pre-loved teacups, we put out nametags, chairs, granola bars and coffee and said, “Welcome to the Circle” to visitors from Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky who were there to attend one of our monthly Education Workshops.

One of our primary goals is to spread the vision of Magdalene and Thistle Farms to a wider community. Two years ago we began to offer guests an opportunity to learn more about our organization through a day-long workshop. What began as a quarterly offering, has now grown to a monthly Education & Outreach program, fueled by increasing requests to share the model.

Attendees join the morning meditation circle, tour Thistle Farms, hear an overview from Becca Stevens, observe the manufacturing process, listen to stories from residents and graduates of the program, learn how to make paper, travel to the largest residence, and spend the afternoon in a Q&A session with Magdalene’s Executive Director Cary Rayson. During these past couple of years, we have welcomed more than 600 workshop visitors from 100 cities across the U.S. and beyond. Guests have included nonprofits, teachers, students, social workers, clergy, business professionals, doctors, police officers, and volunteers.

We want to be a voice in the dialogue that promotes women’s freedom. We want to encourage and support others like our new sister organizations Eden House in New Orleans and Clare House in Milwaukee to start and build their own communities. We want to host a national conference. We want to become a movement and we want you to join us.

Upcoming Education Workshop Dates include:

Please keep October 13-16, 2013 
in your calendars for 
The Magdalene / Thistle Farms 
First Annual Conference. 
Stay tuned for details.

To attend an upcoming immersion day or for more information, please contact Deb Markland at deb@thistlefarms.org.

Special thanks to our Education Workshop sponsors, Creative Nation MusicThrifty Car Rental Nashville & the Marjorie A. Neuhoff Foundation, Inc.

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