The Center for
Creative Community

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Time Capsule
Stillpoint: A Philosophy ... Voluntas:
The Residence at Madrid

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A Message for the Future – the Voluntas Time Capsule


A real time machine. Alas, dedicated in 1990 but has no permanent home as yet.

1970... 1980... 1990 soon-the turn of each decade produces a flurry of futuring in volunteerism. As we continue to seek messages from the years to come, the VOLUNTAS time capsule will also send our message to the future of volunteerism. The time capsule will be sealed during the 1990 Thanksgiving season and opened sixty years later in the year 2050... by volunteers, we hope!

Though this is surely an enterprise of the spirit, it has a very practical side as well.

Ironically, attempting to foresee the future is the best way to understand the present because that is the only solid basis we have in forecasting. More than that, our vision of times to come profoundly influences the present and enriches it. As Jose Ortega y Gasset put it: 'Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not a sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be." The VOLUNTAS time capsule will help us focus our yearning and begin to do something about it; it will be one instrument through which, as Gregory Baum said, we will "... create our own future"

Many time capsules are set for hundreds or thousands of years hence. Why only sixty years for us? First of all, the rapid pace of development of modern volunteerism suggests it might change out of all recognition over centuries. Secondly, over 'only' six decades, our special preservation arrangements will virtually assure arrival of documents and artifacts in excellent condition. Finally, this is a time span we can relate to on a human scale. Some younger people invited to the 1990 launching, may still be alive in 2050, for the opening! The rest of us can visualize our children there, or their children.

Our time-traveler will be about the size of a steamer trunk. It will probably be incorporated in the cornerstone of VOLUNTAS, though another possible site is in the ground beneath the central "reflection well" or kiva. The core of capsule content will be 150-200 messages from individuals, associations (e.g. DOVIAS), or organizations involved in volunteerism. Frontline volunteers will definitely be represented along with people who have a career or other serious interest in leadership of volunteers, e.g. volunteer coordinators, and consultants, clergy and lay leadership in church temple and synagogue; self-help and service club leaders, etc. Each person or organization will receive paper specially treated for preservation. Approximately 500 words will be allotted to speak to the following points:

* Identification of self and volunteer program, perhaps also the name and address of children and grandchildren to be notified at capsule opening
* Good things you see about volunteering today in your program or organization, and in general.
* Challenges, problems, things that need improving in volunteerism today
* Your prediction of what 2050 will be like as far as volunteering is concerned
* Your message to the future: advice, encouragement cautions, or a greeting.

All this will go into the capsule exactly as written, without editing or censorship of any kind. Message-senders will also be invited to include a photograph of two of their choice, with special recommendations on how to prepare these for the best possible preservation over time.

In addition to what message senders place in the time capsule, each will also have a vote on what other articles should be included, that is, which books, other publications, videos, recognition items, etc best reflect contemporary volunteerism. Finally, each message-sender will be asked to recommend the kinds of people or organizations that should be represented in capsule messages, especially those contributors we might otherwise overlook.

The Center for Creative Community will be responsible for the physical design of the capsule; its construction, monitoring and upkeep as necessary; selection, assembling and storage of messages; and the same for other articles responsive to the recommendations of the message-senders. We will also inventory time capsule contents and place the list in a safe deposit box. Finally, notices of capsule location and opening date will be distributed to libraries, universities, temples, etc. to ensure that the time and place of the opening will be remembered and observed. This task will be simpler because VOLUNTAS will probably still be standing in 2050, with a plaque on the outside of the capsule.

Considerable time, effort, and expense will go into all of this, so the fee for each message to the future will be significant or even substantial (we haven't decided on an exact figure yet and welcome your suggestions). On the ‘other hand, the privilege of communicating with the future is a rare and extraordinary one. Moreover, individuals who contribute or have contributed to VOLUNTAS in other ways (e.g. a flagstone) will be able to apply at least part of the value of this other donation to their "time travel ticket".

What of those who have essentially nothing to give dollar-wise, but have much to say to the future of volunteerism? In the first place, part of each fee will go towards at least thirty scholarships--free messages for the kinds of people or organizations recommended by, message-senders. Beyond that, we plan to approach foundations for help in financing the widest possible range of time travel scholarships.

Th first one hundred messages-by-fee will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. After that, we will begin to examine the allocation of the remainder for balance, in representing volunteerism, and begin awarding scholarships accordingly. Until then, we will appreciate hearing from you with your comments and suggestions on all of the above. We’re even willing to take your provisional reservations, for inclusion in the time capsule.

Ivan Scheier

Late news: We're pleased and proud to announce that Susan Ellis, President of ENERGIZE INC, has agreed to serve as Principal Consultant on the Time Capsule Project. We have also set fee per message at $100, at least for those who choose to participate in the next six months. Finally, it seems likely that the first actual time capsule messages will be prepared at the CHALLENGE III think tank on volunteerism, November 1-3, at the Center in Santa Fe.

Click here for the more complete information on the Time Capsule


In what was not so long ago a ghost town, this old house has been transformed by caring energy: 125 volunteers over the past two years, including 70 daytime users, and 50 residents, for periods ranging from two days to four months. Our motto is 'one person at a time"; nevertheless, the people spanned 8 countries and 26 states. VOLUNTAS' is a retreat center for believers in the voluntary spirit, a 'bed and philosophy', a 'dream factory' where dreams are nurtured and encouraged, rather than ridiculed or ignored. You are invited to:


***Bring Your Own Dream. You have a dream of community, not enough money to buy it (even assuming that were possible) and seek information, affirmation and personal space to make it real.
***Find Your Own Dream. You know there's a dream there somewhere for you and want a quiet place where you can discover it.
***Find Yourself Again. Look peacefully and deeply at your core values and philosophy. How close is your current work to these?
***Re-dedicate Your Life. Explore more fulfilling ways of investing your life in service, in tune with your talents and values.
***Renew, relax, re-create, recharge your batteries; just be good to yourself, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

The main thing about our program is that we don't have one. We only try to give mature, seeking adults, time and space to identify and pursue purposes of service. In this 'Adult Montessori" atmosphere, we talk only when you're ready to talk; when you feel like walking, you walk (or we walk together); when you're tired, you sleep, etc. Our only regularly scheduled events are entirely voluntary; a weekly group meditation and a bi-weekly think tank. Though none here will try to program you, we do have resources: the Harriet Naylor Memorial Library on volunteer and community development, one of the largest in the world; the inspiration of peaceful reflection gardens; the greenhouse quiet place; and the VOLUNTAS Time Capsule. Most of all, we have each other for networking and nurturing.

VOLUNTAS offers the opportunity to live volunteerism through 'glad gifts' of labor and love to the house and to the Madrid community. In this wonderful struggling village, the word 'volunteer' is never heard, but almost everything gets done that way. Nobody networks; it's just a constant, uncalculated and creative way of life. There are no rental or other fees at VOLUNTAS. We'll be glad to talk about whether the place fits your needs and lifestyle--and ours.

Connection is Ivan Scheier, Dreamcatcher-in-Residence, VOLUNTAS, Star Route 46, Madrid, New Mexico. 87010. Tel. (505) 473-7711.


"This truly is a place of growth and wonder--let all who 'come here do their part to ensure its future ... Mary Stewart, Canada

"It feels like a place to be still and think ... Jane Turner, California

"A place where special people not only talk but also listen to each other ... Margaret McLaren, Australia

"I find the physical and personal aspects of the Center very warm and inviting. The structure is very functional..." Dean Hinman, Minn.

"Being here is like coming home in some wonderful way..." Mary Ann Lawson, Californina

"Something about being in the house in Madrid sent the slowdown message to me loud and clear..." Julie Dressner, New York City

"Keep dreaming; keep sharing them; we all grow from our time here..." Susan Freeman, Minnesota

"A place of serenity, renewal and inspiration." ...Nancy Hughes, Calif.

"House -looks great--clearly a lot of work has been accomplished. 'A lot of good energy put to good effect. This is a place where I need to stop more often! ..." Bruce Cline, New Mexico

"Om Mani Padme Hung..." Jampal Loden, Tibet

"Thanks for your open heart and home, for providing a place *here life priorities are crystal clear..." Elizabeth Harris, Colorado

"The energy is incredibly strong, clear and beautiful here..." Rebecca Eagles, North Carolina

"This is a beautiful place—thanks so much for being here for us..." Erica Rogers, England

"It has been a wonderful 'journey', one that I plan to continue for the

rest of my life..." Laura Friedlander, Illinois



March, 1998

The people who first dreamed the Stillpoint dream, two years ago, though philosophy was more important than planned activities; so they spent a lot of time thinking, about it. It's time now to see how this philosophy has been confirmed or modified in two years experience. Indeed, most of the people who first conceived Stillpoint have moved on to live in other places; the people who participate today, and shape Stillpoint, may not even be aware we had a philosophy. The danger is getting so caught up in doing things that we forget why.

*** In many senses, the Stillpoint Philosophy is not to insist on any one philosophy. Instead, we honor diversity, and learn from it. People of many Faiths work together here, unselfconsciously in mutual respect. The same is true of sincere seekers after spiritual growth who are not formally affiliated with any religion. All are welcome, all are valued, all learn from one another. We inspire rather than condemn one another.

***We embrace the holistic philosophy of healing but not primarily as an alternative to Western (allopathic) medicine. Rather, we hope and work for an integrated medicine embodying, the best of both in a mutually supportive framework

***Healing and spirituality are not just specialties that can occur only in special places with special equipment, etc. They can and should occur everywhere in daily life. So we expect people to treat one another with decency, kindness, and respect, outside hearing room as well as in them; in normal interactions as well as in our "programs."

*** "Healing of Healers" is a cornerstone of our philosophy. Our conviction is that care-givers often do not get enough caring for themselves. So this is emphasized in activities like the Reiki Circle, and Reiki itself.

*** Everyone is a healer, potentially, providing only they are willing to invest time and effort in the learning/growth process. This is Reiki again as we practice it, and Mindfulness Meditation-both standing in gain, as we contrast to a view of likely also to be prohibitively expensive.

***Related, healing and spirituality, too, can happen largely via self-help. Stillpoint might well be called a self-help healing center.

*** We hold a broad view of what healing and spirituality are and can be. Thus, we offer gardening as largely a spiritual enterprise; someday we hope to do the same for music, painting, and dance. Nor does it all have to be in a program. We strive to protect at Stillpoint, as a crucial part of our vision, quiet, undisturbed time to sit and watch the birds or just to be.

*** In our vision of affordable high-quality healing for all, we do our best to separate money from healing and from spirituality as well. We want to be one place where fees are not charged, financial donations are discouraged, and where benefitters are completely free to choose what kind of return, if any, they will make for services received. We do this in all honor to people who must make a living as healers, fully deserve to do so, and charge reasonable fees. But we totally reject the notion that people generally cannot appreciate a service unless they pay for it; Stillpoint itself disproves that contention.

*** We do not believe the story is necessarily over for any of us in our growth as spiritual beings and as healers. We are open to exploration beyond current borders and restrictions.

STILLPOINT in Summer, 1999
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, NM 89701
Tel (505) 894-1340

MEDIATION - No experience necessary, in small groups, every weekday, 8-8:30 am in Main House and every weekend, 9-10 am in mediation cottage.

For Individuals, Mediation Cottage and Mediation Garden are open 24 hours a day. Monday is a day of silence till mid-afternoon.

REIKI, Main House, come anytime before 5, and leave whenever

Every Tuesday, 4-6:16 pm is Reiki Clinic

Every Thursday, 4:40- 6 pm is Reiki Circle

Also, practitioner training; individual treatments; Distance Healing Sending twice weekly; and Reiki expansion research.

TAI-CHI every Tuesday and Thursday, 8:45-10 am.

"SALON" DISCUSSION GROUPS are held the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, potluck beginning at 5:30 pm and discussion usually completed by 8 pm.

OTHER – Every day except as noted otherwise; Library, browse or borrow (suggest call ahead to be sure open) … Art Studio (call ahead to reserve)… Sandtray (Sandbox for adults, kids, too)… Birdwatching… Fishfathoming and other unscheduled creatures.

Special Workshops or Events occur from time to time. Dates and times will be posted around town and county.

Most Special of all is QUITE TIME, alone, undisturbed, most anytime you want.

Call or drop by for more information. We are a self help healing center, and welcome all caring people. Our work is 99% volunteer and we charge no fees.




A vision of future community created in February 1993, by eight of us at the San Damiano Retreat Center, in the Mother House of the Franciscan Sisters, In Aston, Pennsylvania, in the United States. We did this together as a culmination of a three-day "think tank:

Further background on each of us is attached to this paper. We were:

Sherry Buckwatter, Eagleville, Pennsylvania
Kim Hogue, Lakewood , Ohio

Sandy Leonard, Greensboro, North Carolina
Lois MacNamara, Media, Pennsylvania
Cynthia Moses, Broomall, Pennsylvania
|Patricia Ralble, Cumberland, Maryland
Ivan Scheier, Madrid, New Mexico
Linda Sauerwein, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cynthia took notes and each of us took some responsibility to record our own comments, too. Ivan agreed to try to tie it all together, but later decided to rely more on each person's own words and let you who read this draw your own conclusions on the themes in our hopes.

Children are accorded the same dignity, respect and value as human beings, as adults are. Children are a model of what is valued in human beings: intelligence, curiosity, expressiveness (deal with their emotions immediately), playfulness, trustingness.

Peace Harmony ALL NEEDS MET. All people (adults, children) respected, loved, cherished. Diversity--in a complementary sense. Choice to stay or go (we decided there is no single ideal community for all; there should be ideal communities). Materialism is not the path to power. Instead, power comes from individuality, charisma, respect, and concern for others. People work if they want to, as much as they want to. There is more importance attached to play, and more of it, happens as a natural ongoing part of life. This is a Monogamous society, where family is the central unit. The laws of God/nature are followed instead of the laws of men. One other visioner suggested the Franciscan Sister's way of life, amongst which we were living, was the ideal way of life--we need search no further. Finally, in our community, there is immense creativity. Death is not feared. Life is respected and enjoyed. In the ideal community, there is great respect for others' opinions, and a willingness to change. There is--much more than we have today with all our "delegation" (abdication?) to specialized service agencies--a willingness to take personal responsibility for the wellbeing of others and for ourselves.

In the ideal community (communities) there is no drug or alcohol abuse by children or adults. This would mean less crime, less child abuse, less adult abuse, better communication between individuals. Families would thus spend more time together and businesses would function better. There would be more trust of one another, more sharing of skills, and lots of love!

The themes are: love not fear; caring and trust; no addictions; diversity is present and respected both within each community and between different communities. (Even people you think are rigid and biased are accepted as long as they don't try to force their views on you. Nor should we try to force our views on them. Some of us at least, did not want to see a set of doctrine-segregated communities). Other themes: economic considerations (see materialism, earlier) do not drive the community. Instead, there is a core set of values (voluntary, not forced)

There will be all four seasons in our ideal place(s) Otherwise, there was very little attention (importance?) given to the physical/geographical nature of our utopia. From what our visioners said at other times, our hope for clean air and water, and respect for the environment can be pretty well assumed

Finally, this from one of our visioners:

"In this place, all is holy
because of who lives here
and why they choose to be here
A spirit of respect
A spirit of peace
rests with me
consoles me"

So too, can any community be, if those who make the union choose to belong.

The ideal community is one body
made up from many whose
purpose is to be at peace
through love, respect, and
genuine interest in others

Along with the thoughts of children, this will be the last document placed in the VOLUNTAS Time Capsule. May our hopes be your reality, along with hopes we've never dreamed.

In peace

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Ivan Scheier
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt