From Linda Anderson, Director
I am writing these words on Thanksgiving Monday, with many
swirling thoughts and impressions about thankfulness. I am
the past month I have been on sabbatical, spending time at other
education and retreat Centres.
live in a country where each person has a vote.
in Canada we are still relatively secure financially. However,
why do we think that financial systems that are predicated upon
continuous growth forever and ever will not fail?
– I am
privileged to associate with people who seek deep meaning in
life and who listen for the divine within creation. My work
includes challenge, satisfaction and deep joy.
Calling Lakes Centre has benefited from gifts of love, labour
and money over the past year.
And so it is that with a thankful heart I write the following
paragraphs which describe some of the reality of life at
Educational and Retreat Centres.
I have discovered that the Centres have a deep foundational
commonality of purpose. Even more important are the spiritual
understandings related to community, methods of learning and
personal transformation and the desire to offer hospitality to
all kinds of people. The Centres have different rhythms to their
program life yet programming always includes spiritual growth,
justice making, inclusion of all ages and lots of laughter and
However, I wonder why it is that the other commonality that
unites the Centres is the struggle for financial sustainability?
All the Centres I visited this year – Five Oaks, Sorrento and
Naramata – are living ‘on the edge’ just like Calling Lakes
Centre. We have lots of life and spirit, lots of people who
attend our programs, individuals and organizations who visit and
use our facilities, but we struggle to break even and perhaps to
build up a surplus. All of the Centres were established in the
1950’s as part of the wave of interest in providing learning
opportunities for lay people. All of us have facilities that
need to be renovated and expanded. Naramata is in the midst of a
$3 million financial campaign and Sorrento is embarking on a $10
million campaign. Five Oaks is preparing for such a campaign and
Tatamagouche, the fourth United Church Centre has also been
conducting a financial campaign.
In our desire to be accessible to all people, all of the
Centres are charging registration fees for programs that do not
cover the entire cost for the program itself plus the
foundational costs of keeping the Centre open. Therefore in
order to break even on operations, the difference is made up
from the income from ‘commercial use’ and from the support of
the church and faithful donors upon which each Centre depends.
But not one Centre has been able to build up a fund for future
renovations and expansion. You may guess that this will not be
our final word on this topic!
And thus, I say to you, our Friends, please give generously
again this year, doing your part to keep Calling Lakes Centre
living out its mission:
The purpose of
Calling Lakes Centre is to provide a sacred space where all
people are welcome:
to be challenged
to find the Holy within and
The Centre stands
with those who seek justice and resist evil.
It encourages, facilitates and supports learning, growth and
Calling Lakes Centre
intentionally welcomes all people regardless of age, gender,
sexual orientation, differing abilities, ethnic background or
The Centre commits
itself to care for its building and land so that the Centre may
be a model of environmental sustainability. The staff models the
Centre’s understanding of community and
offers hospitality that is safe, mutual and respectful.