Happy Monday to you All! Happy Birthday, Dr. Kenn!
Dr. Deb is away celebrating Dr. Kenn’s 70th birthday and asked me if I’d write this week’s Happy Monday blog post. So, here I am!
How on earth is it that September has arrived and we are moving into the fall?
For me, time has flown by since spring when I stepped into my new role as Assistant Minister at the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna. While it felt summer weather was late in remembering to arrive (was it flight delays?), I know time has flown by for me, because my life has been full with my new role. I’ve been having so much fun, because it is my heart-song and my soul’s call.
With Dr. Deborah sharing ‘A week in the life of a Senior Minister’ last week, we thought it might be interesting and helpful for you to know some of the things I’m privileged to be doing as your Assistant Minister.
Quite brilliantly, Dr. Deborah and our Board of Trustees recognized the importance and need for my role at the Centre to include activities that serve both our Spiritual Centre, as well the larger area of Kelowna. We recognize we are part of a greater whole, and feel it’s vital we participate in adding good to our greater community.
Within our CSL Kelowna community, I’m charged with coordinating all of those things required to meet each and every Sunday. It was no small feat re-creating spiritual community anew following the hiatus offered by the pandemic, but so many stepped up to make it easy and fun. Both our Board of Trustees and you, our congregation, have made it happen.
It takes a village, and the people of CSLK rose to the occasion, responding to the call, stepping in and showing up, filling many of the volunteer roles of sacred service required for our Sunday offering. We’re beyond grateful to the many of you who say yes!
Volunteers stepped-up as greeters, livestream and tech services, offertory counters, and our brew crew. Several have helped out, when possible, with Sunday set-up and tear down (we could still use some help here). We’re deeply appreciating your suggestions and ideas that help us make things better as we re-imagine how we meet in spiritual community. We couldn’t do it without you.
So, you see me on Sunday, and you’ll see me in classes, but what on earth do I do for the rest of the week?
Along with many meetings, I’ve felt such fulfillment in doing home and hospital visits with people requiring a bit more care and connection. And there’s nothing that makes me smile more than having that opportunity to connect one-on-one with our peeps, whether it be in person or on the phone.
Right now, I feel like a kid, excited to see who shows up and what we get to discuss during Dr. Deb’s and my Coffee and Connection Zoom calls (starting again on September 8).
Did you know that through my role, CSL Kelowna’s presence extends into our greater community? While many of you may know I write a weekly column for Castanet called “New Thought”, you may not know about the work I do on CSL Kelowna’s behalf at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and with Central Okanagan Hospice Association.
I am a long-term member of KGH’s Spiritual Advisory Committee. This is an amazing, cohesive, respectful, multi-faith committee who meet and work to support, advise and participate in spiritual care at the hospital. This committee is a prototype of what happens when people of diverse faiths come together for one common good. We LOVE one another and champion the needs of one another’s groups. This is an energy that could heal the world. It’s a beautiful thing.
At KGH, I’m also blessed to offer a spiritual service on the psychiatric unit each month. This has been so necessary, and very well received. We’re planning our KGH Walk of Memories again for 2023; I’ve been involved in this wonderful venture since its inception.
CSL Kelowna’s presence also extends to Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA). The work I do there is both deep and meaningful. I had the best time in participating in volunteer training this spring offering a training session on Self-Care and Mindfulness. I’ll be offering two segments of training to the new volunteers this fall, adding in the spirituality and care focus of the training as well.
As a spin-off from this, I was blessed to spend time with the leadership team of COHA, offering them a session on mindfulness and self-care this summer. And I’m eagerly awaiting the post-pandemic return of the monthly Celebration of Lives held at Hospice House, that Tom and I’ve led for over 10 years. All of this is done under the auspices of CSL Kelowna.
This spring, I presented at a health-care conference in Vancouver for Health Care Clinicians throughout the province. It was a bit daunting, I must say, but it was very well received.
I’ve got my feelers and calls out for other ways our CSLK community can show up and participate within our local community. If you have ideas, be sure to let us know so we can maybe help you put wheels on serving a greater good.
It feeds my soul knowing that as I do these things, as well as speaking engagements for other organizations and leading a regular mindfulness practice group online, that we are extending good into our local community and even beyond.
So, we’re starting to fly! With the classes we’ve got planned for this fall, and our upcoming Gala in November, life is rich, meaningful and exciting.
I love to quote Mahatma Gandhi who said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” I’m so grateful the heart of who we are at CSL Kelowna extends beyond our walls on a Sunday and contributes to a change for good we all want to see in our world.
I am beyond grateful for your support.
“We can bring positive energy into our daily lives by smiling more, talking to strangers in line, replacing handshakes with hugs, and calling our friends just to tell them we love them.”
— Brandon Jenner
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