From Linda Anderson, Executive Director

I approach this last letter for the Echo from a contemplative view. I have found myself looking back over my life, within and outside of the United Church. I have been part of many organizations, some of which have declined or died, some of which are plodding on and some which seem vital and energetic. I have always been interested in organizations and the systems that develop within them. In this era of fast-paced change there are new insights into how organizations might stay healthy and/or grow or assume a quieter, smaller role.

Until recently an organization (or a person) was considered to be strong if it was able to withstand the events that battered and bruised it, that could damage it in some way. It was considered important to have a strong, rigid outer layer of protection. We can personally understand the temptation to raise protective walls and resist change. However, rigidity also means that while the body can withstand assaults, it cannot easily adapt or change and the cataclysmic event that breaks through can result in utter destruction.

In this century, organizations are moving toward intentionally building resiliency rather than hard-shell protection. Resilience is the ability to work with adversity in such a way that one comes through it unharmed or even better for the experience. Resilience means facing life’s difficulties with courage and patience – refusing to give up. It is the quality of character that allows a person or organization to rebound from misfortune, hardships and traumas.

Resilience is rooted in a tenacity of spirit—a determination to embrace all that makes life worth living even in the face of overwhelming odds. When we have a clear sense of identity and purpose, we are more resilient, because we can hold fast to our vision of a better future.

Resilient people share several traits including: acceptance of reality; a deep belief that life is meaningful; and an uncanny ability to improvise. Much of our resilience comes from community—from the relationships that allow us to lean on each other for support when we need it.

Over the past decade that I have worked at Calling Lakes, it has exhibited many of these qualities of resiliency. It is a different place than it was 10 years ago – different people, different facilities, but a deeply understood mission and vision. Even in this past year, the Calling Lakes staff team has faced immense individual and family difficulties. People have adjusted and supported one another and continue to act out of community relationships every day.

It is obvious that this resiliency is going to be needed during the coming months and years. However, if the Centre holds true to its mission and vision AND perhaps discerns adjustments to the vision as context and needs change, the future can be amazing!

As for me, I look forward to leaving the responsibilities I have carried and to pass those along to the Centre’s new Executive Director, Annette Taylor. There may be other ways that I can offer myself to the Centre’s future. At this ending time for me, I offer these words from Wendell Berry, from his book, Leaving, which speak to me of my life and perhaps, of my resiliency...

How much delight I’ve known

in navigating down the flow

by stepping stones,

by sounding stones,

by words that are

stepping and sounding stones. 

Going down stone by stone,

the song of the water changes,

changing the way I walk

which changes my thought

as I go. Stone to stone

the stream flows. Stone to stone

the walker goes. The words

stand stone still until

the flow moves them, changing

the sound - a new word -

a new place to step or stand.

Other articles from this Echo:

Sacred Space

Sacred Space Committee

Fruit Trees

Refreshing the Lodges

Centre News...

DLM Update

Staff Changes

James Henderson painting for sale

rEvolve Tour





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