Newsletter

December 1, 1999 Vol. 13, No. 4 [p. 1]

Dear Friends,

On January 1, 2000 we will begin our 14th year in east central Mississippi providing a place of hospitality and prayer for people of all Christian traditions who seek a deeper relationship with God.

We are so grateful to all of you who believe in this ministry and have supported us in so many ways and to all of you who have come and met the Lord here in the retreats and sacred space that we offer.

We are encouraged by your generous response to our Annual Appeal that, at the time of this writing, was begun only three weeks ago. We are especially grateful to those of you who are Dwelling Place Partners and support us with your monthly or quarterly donations.

As we begin this new year and a new millennium, we feel compelled to raise our fees. As you know from previous communications, The Dwelling Place is not subsidized by any organization or church entity. All our proceeds are from the fees we charge, private donations, and grants that we seek. Throughout the years God's overwhelming faithfulness to us has been evident through the generosity of you, our friends and benefactors.

The actual cost per day per person is $125, $250 per weekend. Our fee is $45 per day or $90 per weekend. This $90 fee includes the conference fee, room, and six meals. That means that we subsidize each person $160 per weekend or 64% of the total cost; this must be done through the donations we receive and other forms of solicitation.

As you know from keeping up a home, there are the many 'hidden' costs of insurance, maintenance, utilities, salaries, transportation, professional training of the staff, etc. all affected by the cost of living increase. It is with this in mind that most retreat houses must seek higher fees or close their doors.

Beginning January 1, 2000 we will raise our fee to $50 per day; this includes an overnight stay and three meals. This will by no means close the gap but it will move in that direction and help cover inflation. On weekends the fee for the entire weekend will be $100; for an overnight only on weekends the fee will be $60.

Clare

We do not want these fees to be prohibitive and will continue, as we have in the past, to offer scholarships to those who request. Some of your donations have been put aside to support those who are unable to pay the full amount.

I welcome your comments and your understanding. May the God-who-lives-among-us in Christ bless you.

Woman at the Well

Round 'n About

November 12-14 eight women from the Jackson area (and one from Colorado) met Christ at the well as did the woman in John's gospel. Here they are throwing the stones of their pain into the well as they prepare to receive the Living Water.

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Erecting Stations of the Cross has always been a dream of ours and may become a reality in 2000. While we are negotiating with artists, woodworkers, and planners, here at home we are busy creating a possible path along which they will be erected. We are calling it our 'meditation path' and are laying a temporary one of pine straw. It winds its way generally north and south among the adolescent hardwoods planted in our 'meadow' over the past 13 years.

Since we have an endless supply of pine straw, Mary has plenty of raw materials with which to create the possible route. We envision benches and points of beauty among the oaks, maples, ash, and locust as well as the future Stations of the Cross. The dream is carrying us forward. Come, help us design the path-- while it's still temporary!

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From October 14-17 Clare represented the Mid-Gulf States area at the Retreats International Council of Area Representatives held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Gilmary Diocesan Center.

"Meeting with other directors across the U S and Canada enriches me personally and puts me in touch with the larger retreat movement. We share the same problems even as we witness the same spiritual hunger everywhere. Planning ways to deal with this hunger is always led by the Spirit," commented Clare upon her return.

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We are nearly half finished carding the library and could use volunteer typists and pocket pasters!

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You should see-- and experience-- our permanent luminaries that Phillip Pepper and Mary Horrell have erected along our sidewalks and pathways connecting buildings. The lighted runways of O'Hare have nothing over on us! We light the path for the weary traveler and those in darkness-- all year round!

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