Happy new year!
The Beads on One String Foundation is now seven years old. With an all volunteer board spread across two continents, we have spent these years creating and fulfilling the Beads’ mission which is inspired by the words of Avatar Meher Baba. He declared in 1932, “The religion that I shall give teaches the Knowledge of the One behind the many. The book that I shall make people read is the book of the heart that holds the key to the mystery of life. I shall bring about a happy blending of the head and the heart. I shall revitalize all religions and cults, and bring them together like beads on one string.”* 
These seven years have been composed of our attempts to respond to this universal work of Meher Baba. We have offered pilgrimages to sacred sites connected to Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Native American Spirituality, provided scholarships to spiritual workers, published books by and about the work of Avatar Meher Baba, and presented seminars and workshops exploring Universal Oneness. As a small entity with an enormous vision – to bring together spiritual seekers of various paths and explore the thread of Truth and Oneness which strings all religions together – one theme has emerged. That is the importance of companionship in the spiritual journey.
The path to God is inherently an inner voyage, but it does not have to be an isolated or lonely one. When spiritual seekers share their search for Divine Truth in a safe and respectful atmosphere, deep connections are made externally with each other and internally with one’s intuitive and loving self. This experience creates companionship with fellow travelers and offers the scent of Oneness. The many people who have attended our gatherings have shown us that companionship is a foundational element of a Beads event and one which we value deeply. 
Reflecting on the Beads experience, Robert Hartford, one of the Beads Board members, aptly described the unique intention of the Beads mission. “The key elements of the Beads is the opportunity for companionship. This is a pioneering structure which is non-hierarchical and not dependent on experts.” The Beads Board regards itself as learners, not knowers.  All that we do is an experiment to bring people together to dive deeply into their spiritual search and to share that experience from one heart to another. Offering this opportunity for companionship is what we do best and what we want to share with the world.
With that in mind we are developing pathways for companionship within our organizational structure. To anyone who is interested in the Beads mission we invite you to become a member of the Beads on One String Foundation. Membership means that you will be part of our list serve and will receive at least two newsletters a year. Depending on the preferences of the members we will set up a forum among ourselves for discussion of spiritual topics. If you would like to become a Beads on One String member please go to our website https://www.beadsononestring.org and complete the membership form.
Our goal for 2018 is to create more and more opportunities for spiritual companionship. In addition to this new endeavor of membership we intend to offer gatherings throughout the year. Stay posted for when and where. 
For now, I wish you everyone the best in 2018. May we keep the Divine in our hearts and minds as we live the year ahead.
In the Beloved,
Marnie Frank
Chair, Beads on One String Foundation 
*Meher Baba, God Speaksfrontispiece.