From Linda Anderson, Executive Director

Tonight as I write these words, Calling Lakes Centre is home for a group of Saskatchewan quilters. What magnificence – beautiful, colourful fabric creations are spread throughout the Centre. I spent last week at Sorrento Centre in BC with a group of creative woodcarvers. Again, beautiful art came into being through the fingers of "ordinary" people who enjoyed trying new techniques and materials. It was my first experience of actually carving – and it was fun! My creation has its flaws but I am amazed to see the horse that emerged from the plain block of basswood.

So I’ve been thinking about creativity – and in particular, how Calling Lakes Centre has depended upon creative acts. Some of these acts are extremely significant – as were the original dreams of Dr. Bill Clarke and his subsequent creative efforts to bring the Prairie Christian Training Centre to life. Some may seem small but they contribute to efficiency or effectiveness and vital spiritual relationships within the Calling Lakes community. For example, if Jackie Kirstein imagines new methods for doing housekeeping work and cheerfully offers these improvements to other staff, the work becomes less onerous and more joyous. When Kate Hersberger designs a new registration book that makes registration of program participants more efficient, staff and participants are delighted. However, when she goes one step further and artistically decorates the book with her own drawings, each person who uses the book has their spirits raised by the beauty. I could fill pages with examples of creativity offered by staff, volunteers and Friends who support Calling Lakes Centre.

Marianne Williamson, a spiritual activist, author and founder of the Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace, says, "The highest prize we can receive for creative work is the joy of being creative. Creative effort spent for any other reason than the joy of being in that light-filled space, love, god, whatever we want to call it, is lacking in integrity…"

How can we have more creativity? How can we remove the blocks to creativity? I think that the greatest blocks to creativity are fear of being wrong, the desire for security and the undeserved reverence we allocate to habits and traditions of the past. Learning from the past can stimulate new ideas and movement into the future, but movement and change are essential. In nature anything that is static is dead. Organizations tend to want little real change. But as Margaret Wheatley says, "The things we fear most in organizations — fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances — are the primary sources of creativity."

The Education Centres of the United Church are alive and well and offer life, spirit and hope to the many people who come through the doors. However, they are also experiencing the imbalance of aging facilities and insufficient capital to maintain, improve and expand these facilities. This time of disturbance, need and a sense of crisis may stimulate creativity. A vision has been forming – that of the Centres modelling ecological sustainability, caring for and using the beautiful land in a way that builds spirit-filled community. We are starting now. We are developing plans – but even this stage needs your financial support. I hope that you will be able to give generously right now in 2009 in order to help us develop the foundation for the future for Calling Lakes.

Maybe we will be able to follow the way described in Alan Alda’s words, "The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself."

Are you in? Are you willing to invest your resources, your creative ideas and your spirit into the future of Calling Lakes Centre? What will we discover as we share what is precious to us? Maybe we will discover our deepest selves.

Other articles from this Echo:

Intercultural Discovery....

Reaching out in Faith and Friendship: Dohoku, Japan

Treaty Days at Fort Qu'Appelle: New Understandings

Centre News...

DLM Update

Staff Changes

Calling Lakes and rEvolve: the Tour

Thank You for Your Generous Support...

Special Thank You's





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