Our ‘beyond the top’ wonderful retirement party this past weekend was testament to the love and appreciation that is in my heart for our community. Truly it was such a blessing to Kenn and to me for sure, and also I think to our greater Centre community as well. Thank you everyone who extended love and welcome to our many guests from out of town, as well as those from here. One of the best compliments I got was that people felt the love and that the experience of the weekend was renewing and uplifting, much like attending one of our CSL conferences! Sweet! Thank you to all who did so very much to make it happen. It was really wonderful and will be in my heart forever. The Gala chicks along with our communal energy made for one of the best times ever! Thank you all!
I’m delighted that we have some great services coming up, including a very special Sunday service on December 11th that will continue our letting go process, and create the space for some sacred blessings: Honouring Community, Blessing All and Belonging. It’ll be followed by a community luncheon provided by the Centre. Everyone is welcome. Then we’ll be having our always amazing Celebration of Light at 10:30am on December 18th at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Sista B and the Boyz will be providing holiday music and Dr. Kenn will give the message. My last service will be Releasing into the New on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023, where I’ll be joined by our new Interim Minister to pass the torch, along with the love.
My days ahead for the upcoming month will also involve me going through the many, many, many files and documents that come with 30 years of having a home office. I’ll be sorting what the Centre needs to keep in terms of paper documents and move them over to our storage space. I’m grateful so much of the newer documentation is now electronic and safe in our DropBox.
It’s very surreal for me to recognize that yesterday was my last official Board meeting! Wow – that brings a tear to my eye!
Besides being minister, lo these many years, I have been on this Board in one way or other since day one, back in 1993, in various roles including President, Secretary and Treasurer. During this time of leaving through retirement, I've become ever more aware of the many ties I have to our Centre above and beyond the Senior Minister role, including administrator and executive director. Because of that, right now in my heart it feels like a lot of closures and endings. Along with all that, is a mixture of feelings running the gamut from a sense of extreme loss, to so much gratitude I can’t even begin to encompass it with feelings let alone words; and then to anticipation and happiness for the ‘new next’ that our Centre will be moving into.
There are so many people who’ve been involved and have contributed to our community in so many ways, it’s kind of staggering as I look back and reminisce over it all. And I am grateful; it has truly taken a village.
It’s interesting – the song that keeps coming to my mind is an oldie – “To Sir With Love” by Lulu. She sings: “How do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume? It isn’t easy but I’ll try…” and I feel similar, the Centre has taken me from shy, self-doubting, stay-at-home mom to whatever level of ministry one grows into after 30 years. It isn’t easy to say thank you, but Meister Eckhart tells me it is enough. (I’m not sure.)
One thing I can say for sure, is that it’s been a wonderful ride, with ups and downs, which is life, but definitely I can say even through the harder times (lean finances, difficult people, the pandemic, etc.), I wouldn’t have traded a minute of it for the world. I am so grateful. And I’m so grateful to leave the community in the good hands of Rev. Corinne, our Board, our staff ministers and practitioners as well as our new Interim Minister, and whoever comes next as Senior Minister. Kenn and I will be back as proud members when the time is right, I’m sure.
Blessings upon blessings,
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness — it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
— Brené Brown
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