Mary Vaessen with John-Roger on the 1984 PAT IV trip.
Mary Vaessen received the Volunteer of the Year award at the Minister’s Meeting during the Conference of the Heart of Soul Transcendence, June 27, 2021. At our request, Mary graciously wrote about her volunteer service to the John-Roger Library.
I have to be reminded that the work I do with the J-R Library is volunteer service, because it seems more like joyful play with the Traveler.
I started transcribing J-R tapes back in the 1980’s, before computers or technology of any sort. The hot item was erasable typing paper which made typewriter errors correctable, sort of. I would wait for a cassette tape to arrive in the mail, and then the fun would begin. It took a long time to transcribe a tape using a typewriter but having a stack of papers to mail back to MSIA was very satisfying.
Back when the J-R Library and Archives was being born, my friend Theresa Hocking was involved in the early-stage informal discussions since she is a librarian. I went along for the ride, sitting in on a couple of staff conversations about the future library. I was asked at one point how I saw my involvement with the library. My mind went blank, and I think my response was “duh?” I obviously was not seeing the vision at that time.
Somewhere in the past century (80’s or 90’s maybe) I applied for an MSIA job to work with J-R’s materials. I didn’t get the job and was told by J-R that it wasn’t in the cosmic mirror (like what is this cosmic mirror thing, I wondered at the time. I had never been turned down for a job with the reason being cosmic mirror). I was devastated, but J-R has more than made up for it by providing me with all these opportunities and the blessings that came with them. Definitely a better plan.
Working with the Traveler’s materials is an integral part of my life. Whenever a new project arrives—now in my computer inbox—it’s like Christmas, and I can hardly wait to get started. A day when I’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed gets immediately turned around when I delve into a project.
I’m so grateful that there is now a real J-R Library and Archives, with a plan and focus to preserve these sacred materials. I love working with all the staff who have provided me with projects, both past and present staff. Perhaps in the distant future there will be a PAT IIIIVVVV trip where folks will be walking around ruins and the tour guide will say: “and this is where the world-famous J-R Library once stood that housed the sacred scrolls that have been preserved.”
I sometimes ponder what I would do if all of the Traveler’s materials were finally in perfect order—transcribed, checked, published, recorded and safely archived in the salt mines. I guess I could dig out a typewriter and erasable paper and start over because it would all be new to me…again.