Welcome to the 2018 Kinsler Insitute

We are delighted to welcome you as one of 104 confirmed participants in the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute, February 19-23, 2018. We are deeply gratified you are coming, and extremely pleased at the response to this Institute. For those of you who are already friends and colleagues, we look forward to catching up and carrying on. To those of you who are new to our circle, we anticipate the joy of building relationships with you. We believe our time together will broaden and deepen our knowledge of the gospel, our faith, our witness for justice, and our sense of community between “seminary and sanctuary, streets and soil, soma and psyche”!

I. Preliminaries. 

To minimize the bottleneck Monday afternoon, here’s what we need:

1. Arrivals: You should have already sent your arrival information to Chris, and have your plan in place. On the day of travel, if your plans are significantly delayed or otherwise change at the last minute, please call Tommy Airey at: 949-842-9503. During the Institute we will organize your return trips to Ventura, LAX, etc.

    • If you are arriving for pick-up in Ventura (Airporter or Amtrak) from LAX, please give us a 20 min. window before you call wondering where we are. There may be other Institute participants on the Ventura Shuttle van, so feel free to get to know them en route!

    • See the attached Annotated Map 2018 for a plan of the Forest Home Campus.

    • If you are arriving by car to the Oak Ridge Inn, Oak View’s only motel, check in any time after 2 pm on Monday. Your name will already be registered and room assigned and paid for. Scott, the manager, takes care of our friends!

    • If you are arriving by car to Forest Home Camp on Monday, and are staying in the cabins or tents, please park in the lower parking lot, then come up to Allen Hall to the registration desk to be assigned your tent or cabin. We will likely use Cabins 1 and 2 as needed, and tents will be in the Creekside village (refer to attached map - Annotated Map 2018).

    • If you are arriving by car to Forest Home Camp on Monday but are staying off campus, please park in the upper parking lots and proceed to Allen Hall to register between 3 and 5pm.

    • If you are commuting, or arriving by car to Forest Home Camp on Tue, Wed or Thu, please drive directly to the Upper Campus (there is parking) and look for the registration table near the entrance to Allen Hall.

2. Registration at Forest Home begins at 3 pm; please do not arrive before then. You’ll receive an Institute program book, nametag and Camp wristband (required), and hand to us or fill in your medical consent form (see below). To save on paper we are inviting people to ‘go paperless’ - Those who indicate they are happy to go paperless will not receive a program book. If you are happy to go paperless please email Chris at inquiries@bcm-net.org.

   • Classes and Workshops: The options will be detailed in another email being sent to you on Monday 2/12. Class and workshop sizes are limited to 15, so please indicate your top two choices for each Tues, Wed and Thurs opportunity. Email your preferences to Chris at inquiries@bcm-net.org by Friday 2/16 9am PST (12pm EST) and we will do our best to meet your desires. You will confirm your choices on Monday at the registration table – if you haven’t indicated a preference to us, you can sign up at registration. Late afternoon caucuses and Wed. field trips are open, limited only by logistics!

   • Medical Consent Form. Attached please find a PDF copy of the Forest Home “Adult Registration and Medical Consent” form. The Camp requires that each conference participant who comes on campus for more than 4 hours must fill out this form, and we would appreciate your cooperation (it has to do with their insurance requirements). You only need to fill in the areas highlighted yellow - You can decline to fill out the general health history and your insurance information, but we do need the top registration info and allergies (bottom of pg 1) sections, and your signature on the back (pg 2). Please print it out, fill it in and have it handy to give us when you register (things go much more quickly if you don’t have to sit there and fill it out on site, though we’ll have copies of the form at registration). Do NOT, however, send it to us electronically.

3. Orientation is in Allen Hall on Monday at 5.00 pm, followed by a short welcome. Dinner is at 5:30 pm, and our first plenary program begins at 6.45 pm.

II. What to Bring:

1. Meals: Bring a cloth napkin and any snacks or vitamins you need. We will not provide snacks between meals, as the three daily meals are copious! (There are vending machines on campus and a nearby corner market.) If you have already let us know your dietary needs they will be accommodated; we will have limited use of a refrigerator and microwave oven on site. As we’ve already communicated to Camp staff those needs, we cannot accommodate any new or different special food requests at this time.

2. Caffeine: Coffee is served at breakfast, and regular and decaf coffee and teas will be provided at morning and afternoon breaks.

3. Community altars:

• As in the past, we will have a community altar in the main room with space on or around for you to place an object, image or offering (perhaps from your own watershed) relevant to the themes of our week together.

• This year in addition we will also have a "grief altar" in the small gazebo close to Allen Hall. Feel free to bring a symbol or memento that represents what you are mourning (but know it will be somewhat exposed under the outside gazebo).

4. Weather: We are in chaparral foothills of the coastal mountains, a Mediterranean climate, just 8 miles from the coast. The weather can be from the 50s to the 80s during the day, with nights in the 40s or less. Right now things are too dry, but a little rain is expected next week. We’ll give you a head’s up in our next email when we have a 10 day forecast available. So bring appropriate layered clothing for significant temperature differences! 

5. Clothes: Comfortable walking shoes and clothes (most of you will need to walk across campus several times a day, and there are also several hiking trails right by the camp). Also bring hat and sunscreen. Bring your own toiletries (there is a market a ½ mile away if you forgot anything).

6. Sleeping gear: If you are in accommodations that require you to bring sleeping bags, etc. (tents & cabins), please don’t forget them!

7. Alcohol, marijuana and illegal drugs: FOREST HOME IS A STRICTLY DRY CAMPUS. It is very important that you respect this, as any infringement could result in a disruption to our program and/or foreclose the possibility of us using this venue in the future. If you have brought alcohol we will ask you to give it to us at registration, and we’ll keep it at Casa Anna Shultz until Friday afternoon. We will inform you of where you can go off campus to carouse afterhours. Let’s also be respectful of conference participants who are in recovery.

8. Tobacco: Smoking is allowed outside in the parking lots only.

9. Study stuff & merch: Bring your own notepad, pens, Bible, journal, etc. There will be BCM, Wipf & Stock and conference participant book tables to buy or order books or other merch. This year we are selling awesome posters of conference artist Sarah Holst’s amazing rendition of the Ventura River Watershed!

10. Electronic addictions: You are welcome to bring gadgets to take notes, photos, etc. However, there is no reliable wi-fi access onsite at Forest Home, so do not count on it. Neither BCM nor Camp staff can be responsible for helping you get connected. Cell phone coverage can be spotty in the Ojai Valley (Verizon should be OK - AT&T lost 3 towers in the fires and may still be patchy). Also, we ask that you turn off all ringers and alarms throughout the conference, including night-time, especially for those in shared accommodation. If you do take photos or video during the week, we’d appreciate it if you share the good stuff with us, as we don’t have the budget for a photographer or videographer.

11. Recordings: You are free to make recordings (video or audio) of any of the proceedings for your personal use (for classes and workshops, check first with the facilitator to get permission). BCM will be audio recording some plenaries, which we will make available as podcasts in the coming months.

III. Community: 

1. A full schedule will be coming soon. Our time together will be full, as we try to take advantage of the embarrassment of riches gathered for these few precious days! Please cooperate with our efforts to begin and end each session and break on time.

2. Sabbath: You should also feel free, however, to opt out of any sessions as you feel need. There is plenty of space for sitting quietly, walking, stretching, or having small conversations or debriefs. Please be respectful of sessions, and hang out where you won’t be disruptive.

3. Mobility. Forest Home is an accessible campus; however, there is some distance between the upper and lower campus. Hudson Trail (see attached map) has many steps. If you have any mobility issues getting around, particularly for workshops, please let us know at registration so we can organize motorized transport between the two main areas of the campus.

4. Staff & Volunteers: Our Institute staff of six will be wearing bright orange -colored nametags, and chaplains and spiritual companions will wear light green name badges. We hope that everyone will contribute to the maintenance of our learning village, especially around set up and clean up through the week (especially chairs and tables in the plenary/dining room). In the event we need to make some special requests for help, please pitch in!

5. Introductions: The main opportunities for you to introduce yourself to each other will be in your classes, workshop and small groups. Please be brief, concise and respectful of democratic airtime! Take advantage of breaks and meals to mingle. Note: We’ll designate one table during meals for introverts as a “quiet space.”

6. Art, Music, Creativity: This year Sarah Holst will be our artist-in-residence. She will be giving us the opportunity to participate in a playful artistic activity throughout the Institute. We also have more than a half dozen exhibits in our “gallery” in Hansen Room, and invite you to spend some time with them. And this year we have a bonafide “house band,” curated by the incomparable Joshua Grace, called inscrutably “Sonnymandrake & the Black Mustard Seedbomb Squad" (if you want in, he’ll likely accommodate you). We will also have a dance party Thursday night (though not a talent show as in the past). We encourage you to bring creativity, a song, grace for a meal, a poem, a benediction, maracas, or whatever to share.

7. Propaganda: Feel free to bring any material of yours/your organization to make available on open tables beside our book tables. If you have anything you want to sell we’ll have a table for that as well, but you’ll have to facilitate sales yourself. Please take home what is left over of yours at the end of the week!

8. Ecumenism and Diversity. About 100 of us are gathering from all across the US. Participants are affiliated with “high” churches, “low” churches, alternative churches and no churches! We are seeking to create a village that is safe for LGBTQ folk and racial/ethnic minorities, and to practice respect for our various diversities.

9. Welcome to our “Partner’s Circle”: As part of your registration we will add you to our monthly BCM E-News list (if you are not already receiving it), and put you on our mailing list (you’ll receive three resource mailings per year). We hope in return you will consider becoming a Partner in our “community supported ministry” if you are not already.