Tue 7 Apr 2020 5:40PM

Maastricht congregation

RDB Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 106

A thread for Bea & Josh to share their updates on the Maastricht Congregation


Michal Korzonek Thu 13 Aug 2020 1:23PM

Wow, this is amazing! Thanks for documenting and sharing ☀️


Pascal Hazeleger Thu 13 Aug 2020 10:28AM

This is really great Joshua! Thanks for sharing!


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 13 Aug 2020 8:37AM

holy moly Joshua!! thanks for this treasure


Drew Hornbein Wed 12 Aug 2020 7:06PM

I'm looking forward to learning more!


Joshua Glass Wed 12 Aug 2020 6:43PM

@Richard D. Bartlett @Nati Lombardo


Joshua Glass Wed 12 Aug 2020 6:39PM

Hey everyone! I have a pretty massive update to share here. I finished a written process-overview which documents (in quite a lot of detail) the steps I took from "pre-research" through "execution" of creating a new mutual aid community using Microsolidarity in Maastricht, NL.

It would mean a lot to me if you took a look ! https://www.notion.so/microsolidaritymaastricht/Making-Microsolidarity-Pre-Research-through-Doing-it-8dc12b86f1f845daa387c9e9eb5dc6f0

For now, this is the most clear thing I have to show my work in this. I'll be working on a boiled-down version over the next months to make it all a bit more accessible.

All the best to y'all!!


Joshua Glass Mon 1 Jun 2020 2:26PM

Hey folks! @Beatriz and I just answered a bunch of questions relating to our congregation. Check em out: https://www.loomio.org/d/6CIsxngc/making-microsolidarity-presentation-30-05-2020


Joshua Glass Thu 14 May 2020 8:25PM

thank YOU Tom for sharing your experience!


Tom Schloegel Tue 12 May 2020 6:54PM

Hello, @Beatriz and @Joshua Glass - I happened to get paired up with @Nati Lombardo today for conversational practices, and she mentioned you were also part of the training cohort this week. I had just been listening to the part 2 Maastricht podcast, and feeling empathy for your role as the group's initial 'hosts.' Having worked on bringing together a group of like-minded activists for nine months, inclusively broadening the responsibilities was the most challenging aspect. We've now fallen apart due to the pandemic, but through March even the 3-8 core volunteers struggled to maintain motivation when confronting the volume of work. 50 or so individuals would appear at our actions and meetings, yet the small core did the vast majority of planning and execution. My reaction (mid-pandemic) is to start over with the core - the equivalent of a pod or crew - who commit to shared goals and activities. Hopefully such a crew will be more flexible and adaptable, able to prioritize organizing ourselves and building deeper interpersonal relationships rather than worrying over how to engage a larger group. Who knows if this will work...but perhaps we can then help inspire satellite pods and grow into a collective organism/movement. Here's to shared learning, and THANK YOU for sharing your experience and methodology thus far.


Beatriz Sat 9 May 2020 8:39PM

Hi hi hi there!!

Thank you so much @Ronen Hirsch for your comments and insights! So refreshing and eye-opening to have you voicing what you experienced from our conversation with Nati and Rich. Super cool, thank you so much for dedicating your time to listen to the call and to share your comments 🙏

I will keep in short, but briefly reply to your observations.

  1. Co-creation of the Congregation

    @Joshua Glass and I (at the very start also with another friend of ours) co-started the entire Congregating process. We are aware that this may lead to a not-so-healthy dependency bias - people being too reliant on us.

    Our commitment is to take this role of 'Congregation Hosts' until our first Gathering (that should happen in June). Members are constantly reminded of our 'glue' role and encouraged to step in. Your suggestion of inviting people to participate in our meetings in Rich and Nati is super cool! We will def keep it in mind!!

  2. Physical Proximity

    I see Microsolidarity as a living response to bringing people together. I see this response as being fluid and adaptable to the needs of the people. Even though @Joshua Glass and I are the Congregation Hosts atm, this means not that we are leading the pathway. There is a consensus in the group that this closer form of collaborating brings more value to what we are collectively aiming to achieve.

    We are now looking for a more local and easily physically reachable community, hence most people in Maastricht. We reckon we have a lot of common friends and friends of friends who are out of town, and who would make super valuable contributions. We choose to start Congregating with a small local group and see how this all worked. We decided to keep local and small, and as it starts to succeed, we will start to grow and expand - with a stronger collaborative culture that can invite people to jump in :)

    (It's not being too easy for me to explain this, as I think Im as well tired, but I can come back to you and explore this further if you would like 🙂)

To your questions in particular...

  • For someone to be invited into the Congregation, this person has to be invited by a Congregation member. Our main criteria is trust and like-minds. Living in Maastricht is a a bonus, but not a must. At the time being we are focused in Maastricht people, experimenting locally first, and seeing how the Congregation runs. If it runs well, we expand!

  • There are some members that are not from Maastricht, about 3 or 4 in total 25. They stand in the group as everyone else does (all being online atm). They are invited and committed to the Gathering. If they cannot make we will trust in Gathering documentation (you mentioned it yourself!) and on calls to catch up.

  • What does characterize a Congregation? I guess each of its own kind. Common traits? Big enough to inspire, small enough to connect - this is fundamental to me. Another one that to me is very important is the 'intention' of being such.

I hope I bring you some clarity with regards to our moves in Maastricht.

Super open to talk more and also @Joshua Glass is soon hosting an event about all this. Come and join!

Sending love,


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