An America’s Former Soul Hosting Team Eileen Beckett, Kim Crowley, Bill Kelley, Chet Warzynski, Virginia Swain. Other hosts have included Mary Waggoner-Moritz, Elva Castenada deHall, Gene Bellinger, Kim Crowley and Chet Warzynski.  Robert Kauffman, Virginia Swain, Sonrisa O’Toole, Annette Farrington Kramer, Eric Donelson and Andrea Cruz have been taking turns hosting.Currently, hosts are Robert Kauffman, Sonrisa O’Toole and Virginia Swain

America’s Soul Community: A New American Leadership in a Chaotic Time

This is a time when familiar institutions, ways of thinking and habits no longer seem to work very well. In such a chaotic world, we need a creative, kinder response toward building a new future that starts with each of us and our conversations with each other. Listen to Lam from Uganda speak of his views towards Americans after America refused to sign the Treaty to ban landmines.

In a safe environment, informed by deep listening, we take on the important questions about our nation’s future and our role in creating that future by using Quaker Elise Boulding‘s imaging process.

Imaging plays a key role in our Community, because, again, we can’t reconcile a challenge unless we can see it in our mind’s eye. Through the Community, participants are invited to offer their soul gifts to the Phoenix as a way to show their commitment to heal America.  

Virginia Swain, the founder of America’s Soul Community, was in New York City on 9/11/01 and had a dream that evening in which a Phoenix rose out of the ashes of Ground Zero. The Phoenix identified itself as our collectvie Soul and offered a message of hope to people who were being invited to heal themselves, soul by soul.  Virginia’s memoir, My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership: A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11 chronicles the events that precede and follow her dream.

Virginia saw the Phoenix as our spiritual and moral essence that we had failed to cultivate and nourish. But we could co-create a community to take us beyond individual and group egoism and overcome the fear and mistrust that kept us separate and isolated from each other and from the rest of the world.

This is where America’ Soul Community and a new leadership for America plays a vital role.

After contemplating this dream for seventeen years, Virginia created America’s Soul Community as a vehicle for people to pool their wisdom and realize the hope for regeneration, rebirth and resurrection symbolized by the Phoenix.  In 2020, she created Our Global Soul Community with Robert Kauffman and Sonrisa O’Toole.

Virginia’s memoir, My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership: A Phoenix Arises from the Ashes of 9/11 (Xlibris 2017) seeks to explain why the Phoenix in the United Nations Security Council (Norway 1945) did not inspire the end of war after World War II.

America’s Soul Community is a perfect place to dialogue about the “Soul” of America. Read the Press Release here. Register for our Monday monthly America’s Soul Community here.

Virginia Swain reflects on the origins of this initiative here.

A National Conversation called America’s Soul Community

Drawing on her longtime commitment to the United Nations, her friendship with a Hopi Elder delivering the Hopi Prophecy, and the wisdom gained from the life of the 2nd Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, Virginia uses the inspiration of a dream she had of a Phoenix as part of our Global Soul-starting with America.  She had been in  New York attending a conference at the United Nations during the World Trade Center attack.  Thereafter, she wanted to help build an America that embraced a shared moral and spiritual vision as a partner on the  world stage.

National renewal starts with us as we think and learn together and come up with the insights that will enable us to move forward. Through such conversations, we gain clarity and discover our place in this great adventure toward a sustainable, prosperous and peaceful nation. We can take comfort in knowing that on so many occasions the breakthroughs that have changed our country for the better started with just these types of conversations among small groups of people. 

America’s Soul Community gives us a setting in which we can find our own unique way to bring about the future that our heart’s desire.  Its focus is on the United States—however, we do inquire into the nature of America’s relation to the rest of the world and the ways in which it can contribute to a global peace.

The America’s Soul Community engages people in deep dialogue, reflection and collaboration to:

  • Reduce fear, blame, projection and challenge division, racism and oppression.
  • Increase love, inquiry, trust, respect, humility, inclusiveness and connectedness.
  • Foster a just and sustainable America as a partner on the world stage.

What happens during America’s Soul Community?

In our online monthly encounters, we use the user-friendly Zoom technology. After welcoming and introducing everyone, we explain our sacred container that governs our meetings and provides a brief account of the philosophy and history of America’s Soul Community. Then we break out into small groups–usually with three or four participants each. In this setting, participants take up the question or questions which have been prepared by the hosting team, our role to become part of the Phoenix and the rebirth of America.  When we come back to the full group, we share our experiences and insights, and create an image or words that best expresses our understanding of what we each can offer the Phoenix.

Read more on our blog here.

To view sample images and experience the results of previous sessions of America’s Soul Cafés from January 2017-January 2018

Action Research for America Soul Community Vision and Strategy

Eileen Beckett, a former member of our Hosting Team, offers these comments

“America’s Soul Community is a safe place where we can talk and listen to one another. We gain insights to carry our knowledge in order to listen better to our neighbors and colleagues. Somehow, by participating in the Community for just 2 hours a month, I feel that I am a better person working toward better solutions for the Soul of America. I hope I have the courage not to be silent.”

Lisa Stiller was at our Cafés in 2017. She wrote us:

“This was an amazing experience! I felt so connected to everyone so quickly! There was a very deep level of safety and trust built in at the start. The questions and discussion were open enough to allow for wide interpretation, and there was such genuine affirmation for our contributions. Also the teaching component and resources provided were extremely helpful. Thanks to all of you. Looking forward to the next one!”     

Join our blog.  Here are some samples: Spiritual Emergency and the Phoenix Forges a New Future for America

Learn the schedule of first Monday Eastern United States time from 7-8:30 pm and RSVP for the next online America’s Soul Community events here.

Join our Facebook America’s Soul Community here.

America’s Soul Community is A Case Study of the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will and the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service