19 May 2015

Event Details

Theme

One Tribe In Unity

First, we discussed the state of the world this year and what we feel
society — and ourselves — needs to hear. The whole group were
concerned about the trend towards isolation and division within society.
Then we wrote all the themes previously put forward and collected on a
white board and eliminated the ones that didn’t resonate with any of us.
Then we discussed the themes that were left and wrote words on the board
as they came up.

From those words, we created a shortlist of themes, which we voted on.
And a clear winner emerged… (drum roll)…

“One Tribe in Unity”

So plan your tribal rituals, think about how to create unity, and let’s
bring that energy to Convergence and our lives in the months leading up
to it.

Find people who can handle your darkest truths,
who don’t change the subject when you share your pain,
or try to make you feel bad for feeling bad.

Find people who understand we all struggle, some of us more than others,
and that there’s no  weakness in admitting it. In fact few things take as much strength.

Find people who want to be real, however that looks and feels,
and who want you to be real, too.

Find people who get that life is hard and that life is also beautiful
and who aren’t afraid to honour both those realities.

Find people who help you feel more at home, in your heart, mind and body,
and who take joy in your joy.

Find people who love you, for real and accept you, for real.
Just as you are.

They’re out there, these people.

Your tribe is waiting for you.”

Scott Stabile

Convergees share on this year’s theme:

Quite a few moons ago I attended my very first Convergence. I remember mixing with all these strange and strangely dressed people with their mixed-up Maori/Native American/Celtic ceremonies, the food blessings and the intense conversations about crystals, chakras and divas. I remember too that after a few days, when I’d picked my figurative jaw off the lunch field, that the thought occurred to me “I’ve found my tribe.” These were a self-selected bunch of people that I could connect with, who — broadly speaking — saw the world in the way that I did. People with whom I felt safe enough to share deeply, and with whom I could talk about the sort of stuff that would get eye rolls from most folks. This was me finding my tribe. At last. So now “One Tribe in Unity” is the theme this year. My tribe will be gathering again to see the New Year in. There will be connections and re-connections. Missing links and new links. Old favourites and new experiences. The flavour will be a bit different this year, but as always, together we will create something unique and beautiful. The funny thing is that if some are not participating, or even actively pulling against the flow, it doesn’t seem to matter much. It all goes into the Convergence pot, and yes some people will stir it up, but over six or so days light, heat and pressure will be applied to the mixture, and the result — much as the food from the kitchen — will usually be yummy and nourishing in all kinds of ways. So for me the unity I see is the collective result of our efforts or non-efforts over time. The various strands weaving together to form something greater than all of the energy of the individuals combined. Something that cannot be planned, or deliberately created, or anticipated, but something that we who attend will cause to happen by our very attendance. That to me is the almost accidental unity of the Convergence tribe — the one very diverse tribe — that will be gathering on the land soon. I anticipate that I cannot fully anticipate what will happen or how it will go — but I do know that together we will unite to create something unique and magical. Bring your uniqueness and the magic that is you — and let’s make it happen again this summer!

— Michael/Michelle/M

My initial response to this theme was that I didn’t relate to it at all! Why?
Unity, for me, is that magical place at the balance point of the see-saw of life (or indeed any individual aspect of life). I know that unity can be found anywhere people meet with a common bond, no matter how extreme. They find their own balance points. If I am unable to join in unity with them then it is all about me, not them. Thus, having spent many decades uniting with others through dance; workshops; spirituality; rituals; nudity; ‘healthy’ food; “should”ing; etc. I find myself becoming less and less interested in those ways of coming together. (You may have noticed my usual absence from such activities? Lol ) My age has a lot to do with this – well perhaps it’s more about preparation for the inevitability of death?!
So where do I find Unity? Ultimately it’s totally within myself but also totally outside myself at the same time. Aha! Paradox – which, for me, is always the indication of the balance point, the ‘sweet spot’, God?, whatever you want to call it.
Convergence is a group of individuals, each creating their own Convergence their own way whilst, collectively, coming together in small groups throughout the year and all together once a year. 
So I guess Convergence IS a Tribe in Unity and if I find myself grumping about something, or someone, then it’s up to me to do something about it to make my Convergence more uniting rather than divisive. Thus I have written this.

– River

River saying it like it is. I felt the same, I get oneness and unity but I am very much against us all being homogenised to fit in. I stand up for my individuality and if anything we have unity in all maintaining our individual stamp.

– Christine

 

Location

Convergence is held at the Journeys End Campground on Smarts Road, in North Loburn.  The site is about 40 minutes from Christchurch, New Zealand and is in the base of the foothills across the Ashley river inland from Rangiora.  The site is at the end of Smarts Road and surrounded by the Grey river.

How to get to Journeys End Campground

Journeys End Campground is now on Google Maps.  Search for Journeys End Campground, Smarts Road, Loburn.

Directions NORTH from Christchurch

Travel north from Christchurch on Highway 1, once on the Motorway take second exit after Waimakariri River bridge “Ohoka/Kaiapoi Exit”

Turn left at top of exit ramp and turn right at the T intersection. This road takes you to Rangiora. Follow the “Ashley/Loburn” signs through the Rangiora township.

Go over the Ashley River bridge, straight ahead past the “Sefton” turn off and turn right at the end of the straight. This turn off is in the middle of the 85km sweeping left bend, just after the “Welcome to Loburn” sign.

Continue on Carrs Road for 10km of tarseal, then reduce speed and continue straight ahead for another 4.2km on gravel road (take care when passing livestock and horses).

At the top of the rise continue on the road past the Journey’s End Farm,down the hill. The entrance to Journey’s End Campground is through the second gate on your left.

Directions SOUTH from North Canterbury

Travel south on State Highway 1 to Amberley, turn right at the “Inland Scenic Route” sign post and follow “Inland Scenic Route” signs along the  road through Sefton towards Loburn.

Turn right at the Loburn/Rangiora T-intersection, then turn right at the end of the straight. This turn off is in the middle of the 85km sweeping left bend, just after the “Welcome to Loburn” sign.

Continue on Carrs Road for 10km of tarseal, then reduce speed and continue straight ahead for another 4.2km on gravel road (take care when passing livestock and horses).

At the top of the rise continue on the road past the Journey’s End Farm, down the hill. The entrance to Journey’s End Campground is through the second gate on your left.

Journeys End Campground

Map not to scale.

Timetable

Convergence runs to a loose structure that has evolved over the years. This is of course subject to change and any times listed are purely guidelines. A watch is not required as Convergence can easily revolve around the signals for morning circle and meal times.

27th December

12 midday site open for Convergence
Self catering for meals prior to 29th Dec.
Evening meal will be provided on 28th for those who participate in set-up.
Start set-up

28th December

General arrival day and setting up site.
Self catering for meals

29th December

9am                                 Opening Ceremony

Next                                Creating Community

Then                                Lunch

Then                                Creating Community continues

Then                                Dinner

Then                                Open Mic Night

30th December

9am                                  Morning Circle

Next                                 Meal preparation / Workshops / Playshops

Then                                 Lunch

Then                                 Meal Clean-up/ Meal preparation / Workshops /

Playshops

Then                                 Dinner

Then                                 Evening Entertainment

31st December

9am                                  Morning Circle

Next                                 Meal preparation / Workshops / Playshops

Then                                 Lunch

Then                                 Meal Clean-up / Meal preparation / Workshops /

Playshops

Then                                 Dinner

Then                                 New Year’s Eve Celebration

1st to 2nd January

9am                                  Morning Circle

Next                                  Meal preparation / Workshops / Playshops

Then                                 Lunch

Then                                 Meal Clean-up / Meal preparation / Workshops /

Playshops

Then                                 Dinner

Then                                 Meal Clean-up / Entertainment

3rd January

10am                                Closing Ceremony

Next                                  Meal preparation

Then                                 Lunch

Then                                 Meal Clean-up / Commence clean-up of site

Then                                 Dinner (prepared from left-overs)

4th January

9am                                  Co-ordinate pack-up of site

Next                                  Lunch (prepared from left-overs)

Then                                 Continue pack-up of site

Then                                 Dinner (prepared from left-overs)

5th to 7th January

Site available for those that wish to stay on – you may be required to cater for yourself during this time.

Things to Bring

Whether you are a Con-vergin (first timer) or a Con-verget (veteran) there are a number of things you could bring to make your time more enjoyable.

Essentials to bring

Eating bowls, plates, cups, cutlery, water bottle, tea towel and a carry bag for these.
Sleeping gear, mattresses, rugs, groundsheets, cushions, torch, chair
Breakfast, drinks, snacks  (No refrigeration available)
Sun-block, insect repellent, first aid kit, toilet gear sunglasses, towels, gumboots, swimsuit (optional), warm clothes as it can get cold!
Love, lightness and laughter!

Optional items to bring

For Music and Dance: guitar, drums, flute, voice…or whatever you play.drumNdance
For Creative Nature Space:
 bio-degradable craft resources, newspapers, dress-up clothes, string, hemp, glue, egg cartons, corrugated cardboard, cane, feathers, seashells, fine copper wire, balloons, end rolls of newsprint, poster paint, brushes, old sheets.
For Main Marquee, Nurture Space, Kitchen/Cuddle Cafe, Chapel etc: big cushions, incense, candles and holders, wall hangings, music, tissues, towels, sacred objects, icons, plants, flowers.
For the Cabaret or New Years Celebration: Your favourite elegant clothes or costume for dressing up or dressing down.

Camping

This is possible in 3 main areas, namely around the main field, near Leigh Lodge and a ‘car free’ walk in-area further downstream.

Due to the possibility of strong to gale force winds, only sturdy and well-anchored tents are suitable.

A communal sleeping marquee is available you’ll need a ground sheet, camp mattress, sleeping bag or similar.

Meals

Vegetarian and vegan buffet lunches and dinners will be provided every day during the event from 29th December until the 3rd January. Please note the meals are strictly vegetarian and do include a lot of Vegeterian Foodvegan, soy free, nut free, gluten free dishes to cater for the majority.   If you have special dietary requirements, health issues or allergies, you are advised to bring some supplies of your own to supplement what is available. As much as possible, the food will be organic and GE Free. Everyone is encouraged to help with preparation and clean-up after meals.

Please bring your own breakfast foods, snacks and drinks. Hot water is available in the ‘Cuddle Cafe’ area of the kitchen for hot beverages.

The first community meal will be lunch on 29th December. An evening meal will be available on 28th December for all those who assist with the set-up.

Meal times may vary during the event. Please ensure that you bring snacks for your children for between meals.

Meals are signalled by an air-horn (3 short hoots), blessing 15 minutes later.

Lunch and Dinner are served at the Main Marquee following a short blessing. Your pendant is your event ticket and proof of your membership at this year’s event. Thank -you for wearing it to meals.

Meetings

Morning Circle: This is something you want to be a part of! Any group activities can spontaneously occur! (maybe you have one in mind)  each morning at approximately 9:00 am at the Main Marquee. This is often time to play with the whole group and feel the heart of the community aspect of Convergence.

 

Morning circle will be signalled by the sounding of an air-horn (1 long hoot) & start 15 minutes later.

Amenities

Networking Tent: This is a place were you will find information about daily workshops, housekeeping matters and general information, as well as communication with other Convergees.

Wash up of personal dishes and cutlery occurs at the basins along the outside wall of the main hall\kitchen area. Food scraps go into plastic compost buckets.

Toilets: The site has male and female flush toilets opposite the Amberley Hall/kitchen building. There are 4 composting toilets at the north side of Main camping field. You are encouraged to use these. (Small amount of mulch added to the waste after you have finished). Another composting toilet is located at the south end near the Octagon. Portaloos are also located around the site as shown on site map.

Showers: Amberley Lodge (by outside baths) 2 showers available inside and far end of Leigh Lodge 1 shower available (access from left side of building not through Nurture Space)

First Aid: please provide your own first aid kit. A first aid room is located at the ‘Pines Hut’ behind Amberley Hall/kitchen and beside Amberley Lodge. 1st Aid volunteers are also identified by small red cross patches.

Nurture Space (Leigh Lodge) This is a quiet space where you can find refuge and peace amongst the excitement and emotion of the event. Various healing and energy workers maybe present here to assist you in what ever way they can. Feel free to place meaningful objects & photos in here. Thank you for respecting that these items belong to someone and leave them where they are placed.    There is also a small kitchen accessible through the door on the left of building. Please clean-up after using.

Found Property is located outside the entrance to the Amberley Hall/ Kitchen (near wash up area). If your property is still missing after the event, check the lost&found page.

The Heart Cave (Chapel) is a sacred place, the spiritual centre of the event. Thank you for respecting this and for being mindful when near it of people who maybe meditating inside. Feel free to place meaningful objects & photos in here. Thank you for respecting that these items belong to someone and leave them where they are placed.

The areas near the workshop tents, massage tent, and nurture space are also places to be mindful of excessive noise. Once again thank you for respecting these places.

Cuddle Café is located in the far end of the Amberley Hall accessed from the doors on the North wall. Hot water & herbal teas are available here. This is a comfortable space to rest and/or chat with others.

Water: All tap water on-site is filtered and safe to drink.

Workshops: If you wish to offer a workshop please email workshops@convergence.net.nz for a workshop form. Workshops are given freely by participants of Convergence.
There are 5 main Workshop Marquees available they are labelled ‘Water’, ‘Fire’, ‘Earth’, ‘Wood’ and ‘Air’ on the site map. Other workshops maybe offered in places such as the Nurture Space, Massage Tent or The Circle.  Workshops will begin after Morning Circle and in the afternoon afterlunch.  To find out more about workshops check the Networking Tent and listen tothe announcements by the workshop presenters at evening meal – for following morning workshops and at lunch for the afternoon workshops.

Cell phones: Due to limited reception cell phones may or may not work on site. In case of emergency please go back down the road until reception is available.

Parents

Children at ConvergenceAs primary caregivers you are responsible for the children in your care at Convergence.

Creative Kids Space: This is an area that has paint, paper, books, dress-up clothes etc supplied for you to use with your children.  Feel free to bring other items with you.

There will be opportunities to meet other parents and organise/assist with activities for the children to participate in.

Snacks: Bring snacks as meals aren’t necessarily when your child will want food.

Cuddle café please respect that this is a space to quietly relax and chat to others.

Further Tips

To help with preparation and making your experience more enjoyable, we have collected a few tips below.

  • More info: For lots of info and a list of what to bring, see http://convergence.net.nz/event-details/.
  • Rubbish: There is no rubbish disposal other than food scrap compost! You must take your own rubbish back. Pack it in, pack it out!
  • Crockery: Bring your own plates and mugs, and wash them yourself. Teatowels are not provided.
  • Fridge/Freezer: There may be less fridge/freezer space available this year; please bring as few perishables as possible.
  • Light: Most of the site is unlit at night to celebrate the natural setting, so bring a reliable torch or two.
  • Mobiles: There’s no cellphone reception on site. Areas with reception are 0.5km–5km up the road, depending on your phone. It’s an opportunity to take some time out and immerse yourself in the physical, not the virtual.
  • Showers: Bring a solar shower if you have it, shower facilities are limited. (This year in particular.)
  • Massage: Massage tables are provided for people to exchange massages. The facilities are provided, but not the service — giver and receiver volunteers need to match up themselves. Tables need to be protected and completely covered with 2 large towels; bring your own or share the ones provided.
  • Large towels: Bring several bath/beach towels, especially if you want to use the massage tables.
  • Wind + tents: Strong winds are possible, any tent would want to be sturdy and well-anchored. Bring tent repair gear too, like pole segments and duct tape.
  • Sleeping: A communal sleeping marquee is available — you’ll need a ground sheet, camp mattress, sleeping bag or similar.
  • Octagon camping (car free walk in-area): It is not possible to take cars or campervans there by either road. Both roads are now 4WD only, and may become impassable after rainfall. There is only an old longdrop, and no water supply.
  • Flooding: Low-laying areas below Leigh Lodge are likely to flood in bad weather and are not recommended for camping. If you insist on camping there be prepared to move in the wee hours at short notice!! i.e. you’re on your own and the complaints department is closed for the holidays.
  • Amberley Lodge: Bring a torch at night to use the toilets or showers. The power is off everywhere except for the lights in the hallway.
  • Toilets: There will be lots of composting toilets but no chemical ones this year. Very few flush toilets are available so don’t miss the introduction to composting toilets.
  • Lost&Found: Each year there is a large heap of items that were left behind. If you put your mobile number on your things you are much more likely to get them back fast. A volunteer will keep the items for a while, details will be announced after Convergence here:
    http://convergence.org.nz/lostfound
    Unclaimed items will be disposed of eventually.
  • Co-creation: Co-created events and workshops are always welcome, especially for children. Bring creative things, and if you wish to offer a workshop please email workshops@convergence.net.nz .
  • Wearable light art: This year there will be a workshop making wearable arts with LED light strings. Some strings will be available for participants, but if you can, please bring your own lights and accessories, and join the creative fun and contribute to the visual feast. You’ll be encouraged to wear your artwork as much as possible; please bring spare AA batteries.
  • Dress-up: There will always be opportunities for dressing up, so bring whatever funky, outrageous, colourful things take your fancy.
  • Expectations: It’s often best not to have too many, and to go with the flow instead. Convergence is different every year so no-one can predict what experiences you’ll have. Take responsibility for your own experiences too.

If you wish to be kept updated before Convergence and during the year, make use of the Convergence Notices.