Welcome to the October 2013 Edition of the
Laconneau Quarterly Newsletter.

COMING IN JANUARY 2014!!! La Maquisarde


• Sentier de Jeanne d'Arc
• Laconneau Autumn Festival
• Feature Article
• Vermont Community News
• Recommended Reading
• Recommended Film
• Regional News
• Upcoming Laconneau Classes & Seminars
• Upcoming Local Circle Events
• Contact Laconneau


Saturday, April 5 – Sunday, April 13, 2014
Northern France

Known as Jeanne d'Arc, Jehanne La Pucelle, or simply La Pucelle, who was she? This mysterious seventeen-year-old peasant girl who in 1429 emerged from the marshes of Lorraine to challenge the patriarchal hierarchy of the medieval world, and in under two years inspire a defeated monarch, unite a country, and lead a beaten and dispirited army to victory over an enemy who had remained invincible for over eighty years. Who then went on to be betrayed by the very king she had crowned, suffer imprisonment and torture at the hands of her enemies and the Roman Church and finally, in the Old Market Place of Rouen, to die engulfed in the flames of the stake, crying in a loud voice for forgiveness for her enemies from the One who had sent her. Join us as we follow in her footsteps and trace the extraordinary career of the young female warrior saint who dared to cry “Freedom” in a world made dark and terrible by war, greed, corruption, and tyranny. Who changed the course of world history in two short years, and left a legacy that has come to represent the archetypal image of female heroism and the dignity of the human spirit.

This Spring, we are pleased to announce the Sentier de Jeanne d'Arc, during which we will travel to northern France to visit sites of significance in the life of this Fifteenth Century teenage warrior heroine and prophetess who liberated France and crowned her king under her curious battle standard bearing the names JM1IhesusJM1MariaJM1, only then to be condemned as a heretic and to die, abandoned by her king, in the flames of the stake upon the orders of the Roman Church and its Inquisition.

Join us as we travel to Domremy, the birthplace of this fascinating figure, then follow the path of her journey from Vaucouleurs to Chinon, where she met the Dauphin and became the head of the armed forces of France. Journey with us to Orleans where, with Joan at their head, the French soundly defeated the English, a milestone in the ongoing hostilities between the two countries and a turning point in the war.

For more information and to reserve your place, please contact Alex at alexg@laconneau.org.


Friday, November 1 – Sunday, November 3, 2013
Greenville, NC
For women who have completed the Level I Course, "Teachings" Seminar, or "Enlightenment" Seminar

The Laconneau Autumn Festival is a rich and deeply meaningful time. It is a time for remembering our history, which extends from the dimly lit shadows of the early Christian era through the difficult and dangerous medieval centuries to this modern age. Through this festival, we remember the One we serve as well all those women of courage, our sisters throughout the ages, whose courage and self-sacrifice has allowed us to participate in this rich inheritance. We remember them not in sorrow but in joy, for this is the time of the inward journey, the giving up of the old life in the sure knowledge of rebirth.

In full awareness of the disturbing changes that are taking place on a daily basis in the world around us, never in recent memory has there been a time when it has been more vitally important for strong women everywhere to join together in an attempt to find a real solution which truly reflects women’s values and their aspirations for the future.

For more information and to register to attend, please contact Rai at festival@laconneau.org.


Five reasons America is still in trouble
By David Rothkopf, Special to CNN
October 17, 2013

Editor's note: David Rothkopf writes regularly for CNN.com. He is CEO and editor-at-large of the FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy magazine, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

(CNN) -- I blame Kris Kardashian.

Think about it. Doesn't the most recent episode of "Keeping Up with the Debt Limit" feel more as though it were an E! production than one by C-SPAN? Hasn't it been as predictable, brief and of itself, as inconsequential as a Kardashian marriage, as odious as Kanye and as certain to lead to unhappiness as Lamar's reputed drug problem? Doesn't the pinheaded disconnect from reality seem familiar?

The problem is that it is easier to deal with the Kardashians than their counterparts in the Capitol. We can just change the channel. The reality is, we all depend on the U.S. government in enough ways that letting it turn into a repetitive, meaningless form of basic cable melodrama would be a formula for national catastrophe.

We should therefore try to draw lessons from this round of Beltway follies: what we must fix if our country is not to go the way of Kris and Bruce's marriage. Here are five critical problems we must address.

1. The political system is broken

Gerrymandering has caused House districts to be essentially "owned" by one party or the other. That makes general elections irrelevant. So it is primary voters who determine who runs, and they tend to be the more energized, activist voters of the left and right wings. The result? Extremes are rewarded and virtually ensured of re-election.

Add to that campaign finance rules that give disproportionate power to big money, and incumbents and Senate rules that give the minority and individual senators too much power, and you have system in which gridlock is virtually institutionalized. We need campaign finance reform, an end to gerrymandering and rules reform in both houses of Congress, and we need to make these initiatives a top political priority of America's centrist majority.

2. Our national conversation has gotten off-track

Promote extremist politicians and reward them for their extremism, and you get tension, incivility and a reluctance to embrace the compromise that is essential to democracy. Bring in the language of religion and culture wars, and the debate becomes about what divides us rather than what we need to bring us together, about our problems and not about their practical solutions.

Wedge issues then play a greater role in campaigns than new ideas. Opponents become enemies rather than neighbors with alternative views.

We need to defuse the language, edit the loaded terminology, reinvest in the separation of church and state and call out dangerously divisive ideas, racism, sexism and sheer stupidity, like denying science, history or basic arithmetic.

3. Governance has become a lost art

The least-valued skill set in Washington is the ability to actually get things done. We mistakenly believe that articulating a problem is the same thing as solving it. We reward those who give good speeches and not those who have a proven track record of fixing things.

Politicians are too often elected because they advance an ideology, and when they serve, they inevitably focus on what they need to do to be re-elected. But their jobs were created to serve the public, to govern and to lead, even if that means making their positions of power more precarious. We need to start voting for people who have proved their skill at bridging partisan divides and focusing on the needs of the electorate.

4. We are ignoring the really big problems

We are trapped in a cycle of punting problems ahead a few months and chipping away at the margins of issues. When this shutdown/debt-limit crisis is finally resolved, we will have a few months until it recurs. If a deal is struck before another crisis happens, it will be incremental.

Yet America has much bigger issues: a too-slow recovery from a great economic setback, an inability to create good jobs at the rate of past recoveries and, perhaps above all, a failure to address the growing inequality that is dividing our society.

It is not just an economic quirk that 90% of the benefits of the current recovery are accruing to the top 10% of our society; it is a formula for social breakdown and national decline. It is also profoundly unjust. We need to start demanding that leaders address these bigger issues.

5. The American people have failed their government ... and each other

You can't blame the politicians. You elected them. You turned away from the system. You didn't run for office. You didn't write your views down and pass them along to people in power. You didn't fund campaigns that supported people committed to big solutions.

You have become ill-informed, caught up in the name-calling and the partisanship and the climate that created the Washington we have today. You've got the government you deserve. Remember, according to the Constitution, the top job in the U.S. government goes to the voter. If these clowns in Washington can't get it right and you don't fire them, you deserve what you get.

This is not reality television, even though it feels as pointless. This is just reality. And reality, in this democracy, is what the voters make of it. You can't blame Obama or Boehner. Scarily enough, the TV screen, whether it shows the Kardashians or C-SPAN or cable news, is just a mirror, a reflection of what America wants and is.

Rothkopf, David. Five reasons America is still in trouble. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/16/opinion/rothkopf-five-reasons-washington/index.html, October 17, 2013.


In progressive fashion over the past few months, four members of Laconneau have relocated to our new home in Vermont to begin the Laconneau Vermont Community. We are all committed to living sustainably and in accordance with the Teachings of our Tradition.

Practicing the Teachings of the Tradition has yielded such profound results in each of our lives, individually, and we felt that it was time to take the next step and come together to build what we hope will be the first of many Laconneau communities.

We are committed to living sustainably and minimizing our footprint as much as possible. To that end, we are doing serious research about the community’s land and the crops that grow in this climate. We have met with local farmers as well as a member of the University of Vermont sustainability project. We are also conducting book research to ensure that we have the information we need for planning our crops and planting schedule.

Renée and June, who got here first, weeded and mulched the existing gardens, preparing the soil for spring planting. They planted some herbs and vegetables, which have now been moved indoors. They also built cold frames so that we can grow greens throughout the winter.

Because much of the community land is forest, we recently met with a forester who advised us to conduct selective cutting for the health of the forest. The trees that are taken from the land will be ground up or chipped to produce fuel that will mostly be used in Vermont schools. We will also begin working on planning and clearing hiking/snowshoeing/cross country skiing trails through the woods.

And, finally, we are preparing to host the Magdalene Festival in the summer of 2014.

As the work progresses, we will welcome members of the Laconneau community to visit and help with ongoing projects.



by Eknath Easwaran

Eknath Easwaran taught spiritual living for nearly 40 years and drew deep, ongoing inspiration from the sacred literature of all traditions — the great river of wisdom that is always flowing throughout the world. The 149 short extracts in this anthology come from the much-loved saints, sages, and scriptures of the Christian, Hindu, Sufi, Jewish, Native American, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions.



From Oscar® and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick... comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best-kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military... Profoundly moving, the film follows the stories of several idealistic young servicewomen who were raped and then betrayed by their own officers when they courageously came forward to report.


News from the Carolinas:
From July 19th to 21st, the Greenville Circle was pleased to host the Magdalene Festival, with one of the largest numbers of attendees ever. Participants came from Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC, and North and South Carolina.

In late August, a dinner and movie night featured a screening of the film Peaceful Warrior. The event was well attended and a lively discussion ensued. Then, in late September, we screened Women, War and Peace, which was followed by an important discussion from which grew a plan of how to take action within our community. Please check the North Carolina calendar for the dates and times of our monthly film screenings.

Beginning on Tuesday, October 29 at 7:00PM and continuing on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00PM, the Greenville Circle will host a Level I Introductory Course to which all women are welcome. For more information and to register for this remarkable course, please contact Kathy at The.Carolinas@laconneau.org.

The Chapelle is open every Friday evening, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM for those who have completed a Level I Introductory Course. There is no need to contact us before coming, although if using the Chapelle for meditation at other times, please make arrangements in advance.

The Greenville Circle continues our community outreach by collecting food at all Laconneau events to help stock the food pantry at First Born Community Development Center in Grimesland, NC. Please remember to bring non-perishable food items to Laconneau events to help the needy in our community.

The Greenville Circle hosts regularly scheduled film screenings, meditations, day hikes, and community meals. Through these efforts, we continue to build a community of strong women dedicated to changing themselves and the communities in which they live. All women are invited to attend any Laconneau event.

For more information about Laconneau events in the Carolinas, please contact Kathy by email at The.Carolinas@laconneau.org or by phone at 703.819.7986.

Colorado News:
A few dozen people gathered in the chapel at First Unitarian Society of Denver on Friday, October 11, 2013, for a talk about The Gospel of the Beloved Companion: The Complete Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Participants raised thoughtful questions and contributed to an open-minded inquiry into the teachings of the Gospel. On the following Saturday and Sunday, intensive workshops on the Gospel drew a smaller group of participants who explored the teachings in depth. The Gospel was received with enthusiasm, and a Laconneau Denver Circle was established. Please contact CO@laconneau.org for more information.

Georgia News:
The Georgia Circle has begun hosting monthly film screenings and discussion events. In August we screened the film Miss Representation. It is a wonderful film that produced a lively discussion afterwards. Then, in September, we screened Women, War and Peace, which was a powerful and thought provoking film that produced an in-depth discussion about women’s roles in peace processes around the world. We will continue to host monthly film screenings to which we invite all women.

On Saturday, September 7 we sponsored the seminar, The Gospel of The Beloved Companion: An Introduction. Then on Sunday, September 8 we sponsored a Level I Introductory Course. The courses received a wonderful response.

The Georgia Circle continues to welcome all women who desire to work together to heal themselves, their communities and their world. We welcome all who want to participate in our regularly scheduled activities. For more information about Laconneau events in Georgia, please contact Elaine by email at GA@laconneau.org or by phone at 252.258.0495.

Illinois News:
The first Chicago Circle event, a screening of Iron Jawed Angels, was held on June 30th, 2013. The first open meditation was held on July 15th and both events were well attended and well received. Since that time, we have screened Pray the Devil Back to Hell and Women, War, & Peace with lively discussions following each film. We have also held two additional open meditations. Women from Chicago as well as Madison, WI have attended events. The Laconneau events in Chicago have been well received with women expressing appreciation for the community that is being established.

We look forward to hosting our first seminar and Level I Introductory Course in the first quarter of 2014. In addition, the Chicago circle will host hiking events as well as a community service project in the coming months.

The Chicago Circle will continue to host regularly scheduled film screenings, meditations, Circles, discussions and hikes to which all women are welcome. Please refer to the Illinois calendar on the Laconneau website for specific information about upcoming Laconneau events in Chicago.

For more information and to attend any Laconneau events in Chicago, please contact Seoka by email at illinois@laconneau.org or by phone at 773.892.8966.

Pennsylvania News:
The Philadelphia Circle is organizing efforts to volunteer for the Philabundance program, "Fresh for All." The "Fresh for All" program is a mobile food market that sells fresh produce, which is one of the most expensive types of food for low-income families. If you are interested in participating in this volunteer effort, please contact Dana at PA@laconneau.org.

The Philadelphia Circle hosted a film screening of The Invisible War on Thursday, October 10. The screening was well attended and was followed by a meaningful discussion during which we talked about ways in which we can take action around this and other important issues in our community.

On Saturday, December 7, the Philadelphia Circle is pleased to host the seminar entitled Enlightenment: The Magdalene’s True Legacy? at 10:00AM. This will be the first time that this seminar is being offered in Philadelphia! Women and men are invited to attend this remarkable seminar. Then, on Sunday, December 8 we will host a Level I Introductory Course at 10:00AM to which all women are welcome. For more information and to register for either or both of these courses, please contact Dana at PA@laconneau.org.

Please refer to the Philadelphia calendar for detailed information about our upcoming events. The Philadelphia Circle hosts regularly scheduled meditations, film screenings, Women’s Circles and book discussions.

For more information or to attend any Laconneau events or courses in Philadelphia, please contact Dana by email at PA@laconneau.org or by phone at 910.988.8949. 

Washington, DC News:
Five area women attended the Laconneau Magdalene Festival, in Greenville, North Carolina. The weekend of teachings, archery and comradeship was enjoyed by all who attended.

In addition to regularly scheduled Community Circles and Women's Circles, the DC circle has resumed regularly hosting open meditations to which all women are invited. The next open meditation will take place on Monday, October 21 at 7:00PM in Washington, DC.

The Washington Circle invites all women to attend its classes and events. For more information about the Laconneau events in Washington, DC, please contact Rebecca by email at WashingtonDC@laconneau.org or by phone at 703.987.0513.



Saturday, October 12, 2013
The Gospel of the Beloved Companion...
Awaken the Beloved 10:00AM
Denver, CO

Sunday, October 13, 2013
Level I Introductory Course 10:00AM
Denver, CO

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Level I Introductory Course 7:00 PM
Greenville, NC

Wednesday, October 30, 2014
Level I Introductory Course (Cont.) 7:00PM
Greenville, NC


Saturday, December 7, 2013
Enlightenment: The Magdalene’s True Legacy? 10:00AM
Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, December 8, 2013
Level I Introductory Course 10:00AM
Philadelphia, PA


To view the calendar of Laconneau events in your area, please refer to your regional calendar online.

For events in Georgia, visit:
Georgia Region Coordinator: Elaine - GA@laconneau.org

For events in North Carolina, visit:
Carolinas Region Coordinator: Kathy - the.carolinas@laconneau.org

For events in Pennsylvania, visit:
Philadelphia Region Coordinator: Anna - PA@laconneau.org

For events in South Carolina, visit:
Carolinas Region Coordinator: Kathy - the.carolinas@laconneau.org

For events in Washington, DC, visit:
Washington, DC Region Coordinator: Rebecca - WashingtonDC@laconneau.org


Please contact your coordinator with questions or updated regional information.

In France: Region Coordinator (Coordonnateur de Région): 
Martine - contact@laconneau.org

Laconneau Adminstrator: Alex - alexg@laconneau.org

In the Carolinas: Kathy - the.carolinas@laconneau.org

In Colorado: Jude – CO@laconneau.org

In Georgia: Elaine - GA@laconneau.org

In Illinois: Seoka – Illinois@laconneau.org

In Pennsylvania: Dana - PA@laconneau.org

In Vermont: Anna – VT@laconneau.org

In Washington, DC: Rebecca -WashingtonDC@laconneau.org

Contact Information Online:

Please visit our website, http://www.laconneau.org, for the complete calendar, further articles, Laconneau’s history and additional information.