[Springboard] THE ARCHIVE OPPORTUNITY - Globalization and Future Growth

M. George Walters m.george.walters at verizon.net
Sun May 24 12:25:35 EDT 2009



I have seen no other opportunity like this. JWM's archives are at Wesley
Seminary because of Bishop

Jim's archives going there. But this gives a whole new meaning for JWM's
archives, his Living Archives, his Living Legacy.


As we deliberate on the future of these archives, let the ICA Board, the
Archives Meeting and the rest of us consider this possibility.

Take care of yourselves, for there is a very good reason for you to do so.
Bill Parker


Hi Bill

Both of your emails on the archives are very exciting and well thought
through and the opportunity to locate archives at an academic institution in
Oklahoma City is marvelous. I love the concept of "living archives". Thank
you for a stellar piece of work.


A couple of notes on the JWM Archives. The invitation to place those
archives at Wesley in Washington DC came as a result of conversations
between John Epps and Dean Bruce Birth at Wesley that began 2 years ago.
John and Bruce were students at Perkins where they studied under Joe Mathews
when he taught there. 


John contacted me at Resurgence Publishing where we have worked on Bending
History and then later Brother Joe and connected me with Dean Birch. From
that point I contacted Maynard Moore to see if he knew Dean Birch and it
turned out Maynard was also at Perkins and they were life-long family
friends. If you don't know the name Maynard Moore, Maynard and I went to our
first PMC together in 1965 while we were at Union Theological Seminary
together in NYC and working in the Civil Rights Movement through the
National Council of Churches.


Dr. E. Maynard Moore settled in Washington DC where he became close friends
and deeply engaged with Bishop Jim and assisted Bishop Jim as his archivist
in preparing Brother Joe for publication. Maynard did a great deal of the
editing with us at Resurgence Publishing to get the book published.


Also deeply involved in the process was Joe Mathews Jr. and Jim Mathews. Joe
came to WTS in Washington to meet with Dean Birch and Dr. William Fauple the
Head Librarian to work out the details as the heirs to their father's
personal archives and to ensure that they would be publicly available for
anyone in the world to use for study and research. Jim and Joe also worked
with Betty Pesek to ready the archives for transport and the EI/ICA board
join their support with a resolution and a letter of joint gifting with the
family signed by all parties. The actual transfer was Dr. Fauple and two
Wesley students going to Chicago, meeting Jim, Joe, Betty and Nino there and
loading them on a U-Haul-It it truck and driving them to DC.


Bishop Jim's Archives

It is important to know that Bishop Jim's archives are not scheduled to go
the WTS and are scheduled to go to Drew. Bishop Jim did not know about the
JWM archives going to WTS until after the process had been initiated and
Maynard met with him to discuss it and his support. The seminary is now
discussing with him the possibility but it has not been determined. Many of
us hope he will do so but it is not a done deal.


Why the Seminary Wanted the Archives

Wesley Seminary has emerged as among the strongest if not the strongest UMC
seminary and engaged in extensive pioneering work in recent years that
should warm all of our hearts they are building a new Library that will
house a number of archives including Joe's for public access. The impact of
Bishop Jim and Joe are evident in much of their other work. While other
seminaries are shrinking and closing around the country they are growing.
They have taken on Interfaith dialogue not only in DC under Bishop Jim's
leadership, but globally with their participation of the opening of a
cultural center in Istanbul Turkey paid for by the Methodist Church of South
Korea (remember Park Si Won). Under construction now is their new facility
in the heart of Washington DC dedicated to Urban Ministry. On but has to
read the description of this program to see how the legacy of the work of
the institutes, Joe and Jim, is living. 



Going forward

Last fall after the archives were placed in the old library and positioned
for work to begin  preparing them for public access, Maynard and I met with
Dean Birch to discuss the possibility of having some kind of event to
publically inaugurate the opening of the archives. Out of this grew the idea
for a symposium that would bring together many of those whose lives had been
impacted by the two brothers, Jim and Joe, (that includes EI/ICA/O:E and
multiple others whose work and institutions have benefited) look at the
legacy both of them bring to people of spirit, attract a new generation of
people who are engaged in addressing critical issues in global society
today, and build on this legacy with a symposium that outlined the
directions the future may be requiring of all of us today.


Attached is the most recent draft of the agenda and prospective speakers and
presenters and workshop leaders, the six tracks we envision (4 sessions
each), the growing pool of people to participate in these tracks. The
procedures and content is far from being finalized and last week we finally
reached the point where there was enough of the logistics solved for making
this affordable, and interest expressed among major presenters, to begin
disseminating this across networks and relationships that may be interested
in participation.


Globalizing the Archives:

Marge Philbrook called the other day so we could discuss mutual assistance
opportunities in readying the JWM archives at WTS, and building some up
front intent into the global cross referencing and indexing of the ICA/EI
archives with the JWM Family archives at WTS. At this point our steps at WTS
will be overseen by professional librarians under whom volunteers can work.
Nancy Trask did an early assessment before the archives were transferred and
we had four simple steps:

1.       Process the material into containers used by librarians used to
prevent further deterioration

2.       Catalogue the materials using the systems that are international
standards among libraries around the world

3.       Digitize the materials so that they are in electronic format for
ease of distribution

4.       Create the annotated, key word indexes off of the digitized
material that can be accessed through web-sites or at the library itself to
check out or study on line what you wish


March Philbrook has a copy of the index that has been created by Betty
Pesek, Lyn Edwards Mathews, and others in their work several years ago. It
has all of the contents of the JWM family archives. 


Bill, again thanks for your seminal piece and I thought you and others would
be interested in this bit of lore of the evolution of things and I hope many
can join in the Symposium celebration in December and contribute to the
living archives and future directions that will benefit those we serve.




M. George Walters

4240 Sandy Shores Dr

Lutz, FL 33558


Tel: 813-948-7267

Mob: 813-505-9041

Fax: 813-333-1787

Skype: m.george.walters

Email:  <mailto:m.george.walters at verizon.net> m.george.walters at verizon.net

LinkedIn:  <http://www.linkedin.com/in/mgwalters>


From: springboard-bounces at wedgeblade.net
[mailto:springboard-bounces at wedgeblade.net] On Behalf Of Bill Parker
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:00
To: springboard at wedgeblade.net; Colleague Dialogue; Order Ecumenical
Subject: [Springboard] THE ARCHIVE OPPORTUNITY


To the People of the Order,


What I am really excited about is a development with one of the Universities
in town, Oklahoma City University, a Methodist affiliated University. They
have decided that what it means to be educated from that University is that
every student must be aware of the necessity of taking responsibility for
the earth's environment, sustainable development, the ecological realities
they must address, and a lifetime commitment to addressing the systemic
contradictions in sustainability worldwide. 


That is bold by itself but the Dean wants to house the OE/EI/ICA archives
for the purposes of research into the details of being an order, seeing what
a group of people did coming from all walks of life, culture, and national
origins to respond to the realities of the 20th Century. There is particular
interest in why and how people like us decided to give all they had for the
sake of what they decided was the appropriate response in their time. When I
reflect on that from a personal viewpoint, I am overwhelmed myself by these
decisions. For example, if I take the money Suzanne made and turned over to
the Order (average $24,000 per year) and the money I did not make because I
worked "in" (average $48,000 per year), the total financial contribution to
the EI/ICA was over $1,000,000 during the years we were in the Order. You
multiply that by the total number of people in the Order, your imagination
gets a clear image of the radical nature of our corporate life. This is not
a minor consideration and it is a profoundly significant contribution from
the People of the Order to the programmatic institutions of EI/ICA.  I told
him that getting the archives probably won't happen but perhaps a secured
back-up second copy in a different city from the original archives might be
possible. This is what the "Living Archives" is all about.


He was very positive and I thought it would be a discussion we would have
for quite a while before anything happened, if anything would ever happen.
But, he said they wanted to build a green village on the basis of the
reconstruction of Greensburg, KS, you know the town that got totally
destroyed by a tornado not too long ago. This green village would be for
faculty, scholars, and staff living in as an intentional community. There
would be an urban retreat center in the heart of the village that would
reflect the world's religion their practices and symbols. Then there would
be a building established just for the Archives with conferencing and
training capabilities. The Archives would be in a climate and humidity
controlled environment designed for the best preservation practices. He said
these were in the works. In a later meeting, he said the University has
signed off on this and appropriated the money for it. He expects it all to
be built in two years with a 2 story residential building for the
participants and scholars of the urban retreat center and the program coming
out of the Living Archives to be finished in 5 years. But, he says we don't
have to wait 2 years before we start.


He especially liked the concept of a Living Archive. I described it as a
method for anyone to conduct research into our Archives whereby, rather than
trying to read and figure out the meaning of the 4X4X4 lecture format with
illustrations, we would actually do the course with pedagogues who were
skilled in teaching it as it was taught in the 20th Century. This would not
require weeks or months of re-interpretation as some have done on RSI to get
it into the 21st Century. Neither does it require the invention of a new
program. The stated purpose of the Living Archives is to illustrate what
that particular group of people created to respond to that 20th Century
environment. Then we would build a 21st Century movement by conducting
workshops after the course to articulate what their experience of the course
means to them for the 21st Century. This interest in the People of the Order
and what they did is why I am focused on the Archives. It's not the ICA, nor
EI, though they will benefit from it significantly, that is of interest but
the legacy of that group of people who birthed those programmatic
institutions, and what their spiritual and human journey was, and is.


I have seen no other opportunity like this. JWM's archives are at Wesley
Seminary because of Bishop

Jim's archives going there. But this gives a whole new meaning for JWM's
archives, his Living Archives, his Living Legacy.


As we deliberate on the future of these archives, let the ICA Board, the
Archives Meeting and the rest of us consider this possibility.

Take care of yourselves, for there is a very good reason for you to do so.
Bill Parker

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