From Linda Anderson, Director

The first months of 2008 have been flying by and all of a sudden it is May and this issue of the Echo is overdue. My words for this edition will describe some of the realities of life and some thinking about how it is that we might live with health and hope through the worst and best of these realities.

On January 1, 2008, my plan for beginning a 3 month sabbatical on January 15th was firmly in place and I was looking forward to it. However, by January 11th, it was very clear that my personal plans needed to be changed so that I would be present at the Centre sharing with other staff as we would work our way through very significant staff change. On February 5th, The Board of Directors unanimously passed the following motion: "That after extensive investigation of  Calling Lakes Centre’s financial records from 2006 and 2007; and after further consultation with legal advisors; it is with regret and sadness that the Board of Directors terminates the employment of Christine Whiting with cause, effective February 5, 2008."

I am so impressed with the dedication and resilience of the staff at the Centre. While all staff were dealing with their own emotional and spiritual reactions, they pulled together to address the needs of the Centre and particularly, the needs of the people who come to Calling Lakes for a variety of reasons. In addition, two wonderful women came on board as contract staff to help carry the load and sort things out. Thanks to Carole Matkowski and Jayne Whyte.

As a result, our guests were still able to come to the Centre to learn, to give and receive support from meeting with others, to explore new ideas, and to find peace in this sacred place. Hallelujah!

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, staff have been revising all the systems we use to coordinate group’ and individuals’ visits to the Centre – financial systems, registration systems, information flow about special needs, coordination and advance notice for food services and housekeeping. We feel that the systems are still evolving and we are grateful for the feedback and help from those of you who arrange for groups to use the Centre’s facilities.

And as for me – I did go on sabbatical during March and April and plan to have a third month in the fall. I drove east with my partner, Bill Dearborn, and visited family and friends. I also had several days at Five Oaks Centre and had enriching discussions and learning as I consulted with Mardi Tindal and other staff. I am researching how Education & Retreat Centres cope financially and what methods are used to raise the essential funds for daily operations and even more importantly, for capital improvements. The most significant learning from these consultations, (not surprising when I consider Calling Lakes beginnings) is that building relationships with individual givers is the most important step an organization can take.

While we were visiting my son, Kelly, in Northampton, MA, we went to a lecture by Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything. Heinberg is trying to raise awareness of the foolish path that has been chosen by North American society. Within the next 10 to 15 years, many of our non-renewable resources will have passed their peak production (oil peaks by 2010) and after this point production will fall off markedly and prices will rise rapidly. As well, our society has based its foundation on the assumption that everything will continue to grow – stock markets, economics, energy sources, food production, etc. Thus, our society, with its dependence on extravagant consumerism, is following a false hope. The crowd at the lecture was very aware and the most encouraging part of the evening was listening to the representatives of a great variety of small community groups who were providing community and support for one another while all working to reduce energy use while improving quality of life.

What has all this to do with Calling Lakes Centre? Here are some of the questions I offer to us. Can we limit or change the way we use energy? Can we commit to using locally produced wholesome food? Can we encourage and support one another as we find creative ways to cope with a chaotic future? Can we hear wisdom offered by others, such as the words from a Hopi Elder.

A Hopi Elder Speaks

"You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the hour. And, there are things to be considered…

"Where are you living?

What are you doing?

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relation?

Where is your water?

Know your garden.

It is time to speak your Truth.

Create your community.

Be good to each other.

And, do not look outside yourself for the leader."

Then, he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said:

"This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now, very fast.

"It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and will suffer greatly.

"Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water.

"And I say, ‘See who is in there with you, and celebrate!’ At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.  Least of all, ourselves. For, the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

"The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration:  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for."

~ Hopi Nation, Oraibi, Arizona


Other articles from this Echo:
Dreams Become a Reality

Staff Changes

Thank You for Special Gifts




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