From Linda Anderson, Director

April has arrived and soon we will be seeing green grass, tender plants rising from the cool earth, birds returning from the south and all life beginning a new cycle. This year we wait with growing impatience for the new life and growth to become obvious.

Itís easy to talk about new life and to wish for that life to come to us. However, the rhythm of the universe is one of loss/death/grief/struggle as well as growth/new life/joy. Even as we wait for natureís signs of new life, we still experience the remnants of the death and loss that winter always brings. Every gardener knows that abundant life in this yearís garden will not happen without cleaning the old plants away, making choices about new plants and then carefully nurturing the new life into abundance. Margaret Wheatley reminds us, "Destroying is a necessary function in life. Everything has its season and all things eventually lose their effectiveness and die."

In our lives, as individuals or as community, we learn that moving from death or loss to new life does not happen without struggle. There are critical choices to be made and risks to be taken in order to move from the old to the new. I think that most of us who are active in the church at this time in its life have some experience of death, loss and grief. May the message of the Easter season offer hope to us and encourage us to look beyond the habitual and the expected, to catch a glimpse of new life that beckons us into the unknown.

It seems to us that the spirit here at Calling Lakes Centre has indeed been calling us toward new life in many ways, from the mundane and practical to significant spiritual changes. For example:

l  The physical surroundings continue to be improved. Some of these improvements may not be immediately noticeable but others are. Dennis has installed shelves in many of the guest rooms, replacing the old desks and making the rooms more spacious. We have bought several comfy lounge chairs that encourage people to form comfortable conversational groupings.

l  The planning team for the new Ministry with Youth Certificate program has met once and ideas flowed freely. Everyone involved is very excited about making this new opportunity available in the prairies.

l  Joanne Laslo has joined us as lead staff in housekeeping and food services. She is a super hard worker and already has offered suggestions that have helped us to work more effectively.

Marg Janick-Grayston will be joining us in September as Program Coordinator/Program Staff. I know that her presence will offer much to the Centre and to the people who come here.

None of these changes came without the need for making choices, working hard and taking risks. There is also loss involved. While new shelves in the bedrooms may be lovely, it is hard to remove the old desks that have so many memories under the layers of paint. Starting a new Ministry with Youth program could not happen without several people making a choice to work with us, giving time, energy and vision, offering this gift over and above their usual work. While Marleen and Chris are grateful for a new energetic person with whom to work, they also have to adjust to some new ways of doing things.

Saying hello to Marg also means saying good-bye to Jim Von Riesen. That is definitely loss and grief for us. Jim has been such a steady, caring, sensitive member of the staff and leader, mentor and facilitator for many people who have participated in programs. May we all remember that there will be new life for the Centre with the energy, spirit and creativity that Marg brings and that for Jim there will be new life in retirement with time for rest, play and exploration of new possibilities.

As always, I invite you to come along on this life-giving journey with Calling Lakes. We appreciate the resources that you share with us in order to make our vision a reality. We especially appreciate the creativity, courage and determination that Friends of the Centre have offered in the past, in the present and into the future.

Other articles from this Echo:
Chatauqua 2007 ~ First United Church, Swift Current

Thank You !    ~ Special Gifts    ~ Comfy New Chairs

New Program Coordinator/Program Staff ~ Marg. Janick-Grayston

Reflections on 19 Years ~ Jim Von Riesen approaches retirement




Copyright © 2006 Calling Lakes Centre
Box 159, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan Canada S0G 1S0
Phone: 306-332-5691 Fax:306-332-5264
Email: office@callinglakes.ca