December Message From President of the Board, Leslie Kinney

Celebrating our Past, Preparing for the Future

Breathe Deeply – It’s the Holiday Season! 

Reflections from the President.                      

Breathe… Breathe Deeply!!  This is really a message to myself but it may be useful to others.  I’ve wanted to write about all the wonderful activities happening at All Souls Church and yet other issues crowd into my mind.  Pressure of holiday activities, too much to do, too many emails requiring immediate response, anxiety about emerging conflicts, worries about expenses, concerns about people who are struggling with health or families issues… and so much more.  

And yet there is much to celebrate.  Our driveway has been paved!  This was a project under consideration for decades and collectively we have made this happen.  There may have been differing opinions about this as dirt roads and drives are part of the Vermont way.  However, it is so nice to have a smooth drive up the hill.  My recently aligned car will not need a new alignment due to traversing a bumpy and creviced driveway.  A paved drive may help with issues of soil erosion with guided water flow. Plus we are beginning to have more rentals.  It is important that we offer easy access to our building.  It is not too late to send in a contribution to the Driveway Drive.  It would be so wonderful to reach our goal of $60,200. 

Our historical display is on the walls, with more to come.  We are learning so much about our history, thanks to the intrepid work of our Art Committee and archive researchers.  It is illuminating and exciting to learn about our forebears and to think about what we should preserve for our heirs.  What to keep? What stories do we wish to tell and pass on?

We have heard the first ideas about potential landscape designs for our property.  Themes of accessibility, mitigation of damage from water flow, enhanced use of outdoor space, and judicious forest management are swirling in my mind.  Conway School of Landscape Design student Sara Ozawa presented three preliminary designs. Her 11/20 presentation to the congregation is on YouTube and the link will be available. I invite interested persons to share their thoughts about these designs in a follow-up conversation on Sunday, December 4 at 11:30. Sara is very interested in our feedback as she develops a final design recommendation.  

Although we are still wearing our masks at services, since we are sitting close together and singing, we are now enjoying hospitality indoors.  The Board has also agreed that we can plan to hold meals inside as well.  The Board anticipates holding a Retreat in early February.  We are pleased to receive the news from the Nominating Committee that Carla Fogg is ready for appointment to fill our current Board vacancy.

Come to the Bazaar on December 3!  It is one of our highlights of the year and an important fundraiser.  Come to the Winter Solstice Ritual planned for December 21.  We will celebrate the coming of the light and that light that shines within each of us at All Souls Church.  And yes, breathe.  Inhale deeply.  Deep breathing can decrease stress, increase calm, increase energy, lower blood pressure, improve immunity along with many other benefits.  Then enjoy the warmth, friendship and reflections of this  holiday season. 

With blessings, Leslie