From Linda Anderson, Executive Director
Spring has come!
Our staff cats, Sophie, Lois and
Nellie, are having great fun patrolling the property, catching
mice and warning rodents that the guest halls are off limits.
Stepping outside in the middle of the day is wonderful – the air
smells so-o good!
It seems that we all are much more aware of these small
delights after the first three months of 2009, with the constant
barrage of cold and snow, depressing and frightening news
constantly trumpeted through the media, and for the Centre,
fewer guests and some programs cancelled. It feels as though
many people have been cocooned and cautious, just waiting to see
what will happen.
At the same time, we have been very busy at Calling Lakes. We
have used the quiet days to do a thorough deep cleaning of all
the facilities. We are particularly grateful to Jackie Welder
and Lorraine Bonville for their persistent dedication and heavy
application of elbow grease – guests are noticing how clean and
fresh everything is. Office staff are continuing to modify and
enhance their systems for serving the public. Program folk have
been creatively planning. We are very excited about the new
training program for Designated Lay Ministry, described
elsewhere in this newsletter. It was good to be able to plan
from the foundation up with colleagues from Five Oaks and the
General Council Office.
Nonetheless, I find myself wondering how to make my personal
choices and our community choices during this chaotic time in
the world. I am very sure that it is not enough to assume that
this is an economic bump in the road and then everything will go
‘back to normal’. I’m also very sure that I don’t want
everything to go ‘back to normal’ if that means living
individualistically and selfishly, with little attention paid to
the Earth and to all beings who make their home on this planet.
In order to find our way, I think we must pay attention to
the growing current of thinking and activity that is challenging
the old cultural paradigm. As the structures of modern society
crumble, is it enough to respond with the same tired solutions?
Or are we being called to question a set of unexamined
assumptions that form the very basis of our civilization?
All over the world, people are bravely telling the truth of
their experience of life and questioning current definitions of
success. In Africa, they speak of ubuntu, an understanding that
no one can be well unless all the needs of the community are
cared for. I recommend a website, www.globalonenessproject.org,
that has many interesting and inspiring small videos. Through
action and communication people are finding that they are not
the only ones wanting deep change. Surely there is hope in this.
I have been doing research on possibilities for alternate
sources of power for use here at the Centre. I was deeply moved
by the absolute commitment and dedication of the owner of a wind
and geo-thermal company. It was very apparent that his
commitment was to helping us decide what would really be best
for us, not just selling us something. In conversation over
lunch, Terry began to talk about how wind turbines might not be
so expensive if we would work in community to put them up – sort
of like the old way of doing community barn-raisings – people
working together for the good of all. He too was longing for an
ubuntu way of living in the world.
Calling Lakes Centre has both a huge challenge and an even
more enormous opportunity to demonstrate leadership and
commitment to living out a new cultural paradigm, focused on
community and care for the Earth. The Centre needs you, our
Friends, to join with us as we move step by step into the
future, offering your gifts of wisdom, time and money.
I hope that when you receive this copy of the Echo, you will
think seriously about making a commitment to the Calling Lakes
Friends community by signing up for PAR. If monthly
contributions don’t work for your financial situation, we
certainly will appreciate receiving your cheque that will help
us in our daily operations or to fund some of the research and
groundwork leading to a plan for capital redevelopment of the
Centre. And finally, if you are able to travel and are attracted
to one of our programs, or if you want to spend some time away
from you usual routine, COME and stay with us and enjoy!