As in any living organism, there is always a sense of newness and change. The gazebo and meditation areas that are now complete are not only pleasing to the eye but also are significant aids to prayer and reflection. I, again, thank all who have donated toward their cost and those who have donated their time and efforts to their completion. There are two additional items that I would like to share with you that will take place before the next newsletter. Both look to the future.
Morag Burgess, whom many of you know and who was on our staff as an adjunct staff member for several years, will be joining our staff full time in mid-August. She will become director/administrator of The Dwelling Place, and I will take on the role of development director. We have worked together very well in the past, and I anticipate the challenge with eagerness.
We are also embarking upon another important phase of our development as a prayer center. Those of you who have made retreat here know the state of our dining room/kitchen, office space, and extra bedrooms- the "triple wide trailer" that has served for many years in various capacities for the Trappist monks and us. As you have observed, it is becoming increasingly more fragile. We are confronted with the ever growing need to replace it with more adequate facilities.
After much prayer and deliberation we are beginning a feasibility study directed by Capital Development Services of Eureka, Missouri. With the unstable world situation and the present state of the U S economy, we are coming to you to discern the amount of support for such an ambitious, though acutely needed development.
During this Easter season we live into the promise of the Risen Christ that He would "send us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to teach us everything..." Pray with us as we step forward together in Faith in that promise.
The Good News first: We now have an additional watch dog. His name is Lucky, a border collie-Australian Shepherd mix whom we found on our gravel road one morning. He is beautiful and becoming more healthy each day.
The Bad News: Socks, our long time beagle friend, became ill and went to puppy heaven May 5. Many of you will remember him as a quiet, welcoming presence during your visits. We will miss him. Socks had two months to train in Lucky before he left us.
Among those who came for retreat was a Spiritual Direction group led by Rev. Ruth Urban from St. Peter by the Lake, Brandon. After a Eucharist by the pond the Son shone through each of them.
As in any home or business, occasionally our needs for small and large items overwhelm us as many of our machines have "bit the dust" because of age and use. If anyone could help us with any of these items, new or used, we would be most grateful. Special thanks to those who have helped this list become shorter [we've added new items].