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Neighbourhood networking in a global village

The strength of timebanking is the way it brings communities together and strengthens neighbourhoods. But it also links us with other timebanks, not just in Aotearoa NZ, but around the world. That international connection was shown in the recent email all the Timebank Coordinators received this week:

Dear Timebank Coordinators, and especially to the Coordinators of Addington TimeBank, Bridge2Rocks TimeBank, Lyttelton Time Bank, and TimeBank Aotearoa New Zealand,

We would like to share with you this meditation from Edgar on the tragic attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019.

A Meditation on the Sacrilege to the Spiritual Integrity of New Zealand

The massacre of 50 Muslims in New Zealand is not just an isolated act to be condemned and lamented. Like past earthquakes that hit Christchurch, it is a violation of the extraordinary ecosystem of care, respect and interdependence that New Zealand has fashioned from different cultures, old and new. To me, that constitutes sacrilege violating the higher order that all the peoples of New Zealand had labored to create.

I came to New Zealand in 2015 returning from the fifth anniversary celebration of recovery from the earthquake that levelled so much of Lyttelton and the tenth anniversary of TimeBanking used by a resilient, caring and determined nation to recover. I recall how groups of strangers gathered in desolated clearings to cut out and embroider hearts of cloth pinned on passers-by to affirm hope and demonstrate unstoppable resilience.

Seeing that, I came home to the United States, hoping that I had seen the future ‑ or at least one possible future, one within our power to create. Once again, my hope is that TimeBanking, by affirming our common humanity, can advance the healing, affirm the love, rekindle the trust and renew the determination to affirm the life forces that power New Zealand’s resilience.

New Zealand culture honors the spirit that animates all living things. Equally, New Zealand honors the higher order that makes life possible on a planet formed from seemingly inanimate matter. And on March 23rd, TimeBanks around the world will celebrate the possibility that we can create, renew and strengthen a world which enables every living being to honor and advance the capacity of every other living being to be all that it can be.

There will be earthquakes. There will be violent, twisted spirits that flare up to destroy that balance. As with other disruptions, we shall overcome by reaffirming and renewing the bonds that sustain us all on this tiny, fragile planet. I pray with you for the restoration, the healing, the renewal that comes when we are reminded by tragedy of how precious and miraculous life is – moment by moment.

Edgar Cahn

Sending our prayers to New Zealand from Pam, Eric, Chris, Edgar, and the TBUSA Board

Saturday 23rd March has been chosen to celebrate timebanking internationally as it is the birthday of timebanking founder Edgar Kahn. It is a very appropriate day for Paula and I to be heading to Kohukohu to give a presentation and sign up new members there as they’re starting up a local timebank group under our wing.

We’ll also be meeting up with someone from the Timebank that currently covers the Mid North with a view to closer collaboration and potentially merging in the future to become a regional body with local hubs within it. Exciting times for timebanking in Tai Tokerau, and a poignant time to be farewelling one of our members as he and his wife move to Christchurch, taking his timebanking membership with him to transfer to whichever of the local groups down there they end up nearest to.

by Anna Dunford

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