Well, it’s still Sunday, but I just got off our Zoom virtual Town Hall meeting and I couldn’t wait to share with you what we covered. First, let me give a big shout out of gratitude to those of you who took the time and interest to be there, especially on a warm, sunny, beautiful August afternoon!
The purpose of this Town Hall was to share information and to give our community the opportunity to be informed of our upcoming opportunities as well as to invite community conversation and engagement in these processes. Rev. Jeanette Vinek chaired this meeting as the President of the Board of Trustees of our Centre. She began by letting us all know that in spite of these still somewhat unsettled post-pandemic times, that we’re good. What she meant was that even though our community doesn’t necessarily ‘look like’ what it used to look like pre-pandemic, that our leadership – both spiritual and organizational – is solid and doing its work with awareness and wisdom. Our community is stable and better than okay despite looking somewhat different. This sense of stability is important as we move into consciously co-creating who we are as we move forward into our future, which also includes attracting our next Senior Minister.
Jeanette led us into a time of conversation with a spiritual practice which allowed the group to move into a place of heart centredness, engaging the wisdom of the heart. Then she asked the following questions (and I’d LOVE it if you could take the time to consider these and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org your personal thoughts on these). The questions were:
What are you most looking forward to as we come back together in the fall?
What would nurture and best contribute to your spiritual growth?
What is missing?
How do you want to be in community?
We then had people share what was on their hearts relating to these. Some of the general feedback was that people are looking for more social connection – both in person and online. There was a desire for more hybrid connections; there was felt need to attract young families and youth to the Centre; a desire for community outreach and involvement; community fun together, games nights, and musical variety. There was also a desire to feel the stability of us being back together.
Then Jeanette brought up the conversation of our upcoming transition as I retire at the end of December. She mentioned we’ll likely be hiring a part-time Interim Minister whose job it will be to specifically mentor the community in handling my leaving (with both celebration and appropriate grieving) and to welcome the new. This person will be recommended to us by our greater organization, Centers for Spiritual Living, from a cadre of experienced ministers with special training in this field. Their job will also be to assist in preparing our community to gain clarity on our vision and who we are as a community in order to attract the next Senior Minister(s). She emphasized the importance of the community’s involvement in this process as we’ll want an appropriate fit for our culture, values and vision. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, the selection process for deciding the new minister is done by a vote of the community membership.
It was mentioned at this point (and I just want everyone to be aware) that it’s been identified as a best practice to have the former Senior Minister(s) step away from participation in the community, including Sunday services, during the time of the Interim Minister’s engagement. Kenn and I will be honouring that practice; however, please know that Kelowna is our home and we’ll likely always have a home here, and we’ll look forward to coming back once the new Senior Minister(s) are comfortably in place.
I also want to let you know that we are blessed by a stable Board of Trustees, our Assistant Minister, Rev. Corinne Crockett, as well as a strong cadre of Staff Ministers and Practitioners who’ll keep us grounded and healthy during this process. Again, as Rev. Jeanette assured us: “We’re good!”
We ended the meeting by sharing some of our upcoming activities – our Conscious Givers’ BBQ, a couple of upcoming classes, and more – but I’ll save those till next Happy Monday!
Again, a big shout out of gratitude to those who attended our Town Hall, and I look forward to receiving your answers to the four questions! Please and thank you so much!
“Don't underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems.”
— Leroy Hood
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