Board Meeting – February 2, 2019
What inspires me most in this moment is that this is going to be a community led event. Listening to my fellow board members on Saturday as we made the rounds of the room was so incredible. There was such a powerful commitment to making this happen, and to moving forward into a new era for the Guild. I think we have made so much progress in the last few years, but there is also a sense of great risk. So much could happen in these next few years in our community and in the wider world that might make us faint from fear. But the phrases that kept echoing were “what we need is here” and “we have what we need.” The Guild is more than its founders – but their spirit of generosity and risk runs right alongside their vision. It inspires us to “flex the muscle of trust.”
I felt a unanimity of conviction in our success as much as a unanimity in our desire to make it happen. I love the idea that this is “preparing us for something more,” and am convinced that it is true. My journey on the board began with the site planning process, which backed down for a strategic plan, then skipped into learning about development just in time to pick up this huge challenge. It all feels so much a part of a great river of movement toward addressing the concerns we had 2 years ago about accessibility, maintenance of old structures, constrictions of housing, and challenges of dining. A cabin looks like something small, but it provides breathing room for so much more. The opening of the riverfront is so powerful – and equally so was the walk in the woods that hinted at new pathways. There is feeling of unity, of reaching back and stretching forward, of unbinding the invisible constraints.
Oh, and there was such joy experiencing the heart of the Guild as we remembered what it means to be neighbors. The story crafting work was an amazing place to begin this venture. To see 10 people create one paragraph? And spend a whole day in utter commitment to it! Wow! The listening, the attentiveness, the care and love was, is, almost overwhelming. Such a foundation will surely hold us in good stead. I loved how story of relationship to land and people and trees and river threaded its way back into our business and financial conversations that followed, keeping us grounded in our task.
These last years have found me wanting so much for the Grunewald Guild. I admit to perhaps being overzealous in my pursuit of architects – but at the same time I am so grateful that even that process helped me see a bigger picture. I am committed to seeing us accomplish as much as we can in this process.
It’s a small piece of property with a potential impact I’m not sure we can even imagine. Everyone can see it is the natural completion of the Guild campus. What I hope we are able to convey to folks is the wisdom in re-membering [thanks for this phrase, Mike!] this land. Not only will this bring about an innate wholeness, it will also open us even more fully to the River’s mysterious and healing power.
Towards the close of our board meeting these past few days, we are asked to share our opinion about whether to go forward with a capital campaign to purchase the Belcher property.
I grew up in a family of eight. My father was a musician which did not always provide our family with a steady income. We never felt deprived or poor as we were growing up, but as I have raised a family of my own, I know there were times when providing for our family needs were difficult.
Faith that we would have what we needed was always at the center of our family life. My mother and father saw to it that all six of us children graduated from college. I know that this was no small task.
I think about my parents and others who had a profound influence on me. They were risk takers who with a strong faith pursued their goals.
As I walked the icy dark labyrinth path last evening, I had to trust my footsteps. I could not see too far in front of me, but every so often a light would shine on the path giving me trust and reassurance that I could finish the labyrinth.
As a board we are on a path to purchase this Belcher property. We have unanimously agreed to take a risk and move forward. At the moment, we don’t see the end of the path, but with good courage and faith we begin this journey towards our goal.
As my sister says, “If it’s God’s will, he will foot the bill.”
Liv Larson Andrews:
So, there’s this place.
I support wholeheartedly the goal of raising money to expand our campus. I take this position based on the experience of the last 38 years of Guild experience. While it is true that the organization has often dealt with scarcity it has also been the recipient of astonishing abundance. In fact, the greatest takeaway experience of the place, is that if you create it, they will come. The ‘they’ here is both learners and donors who have made the physical site and program possible. In the definitive biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson it talks about the ‘reality distortion field’ that Jobs could create by convincing others to do what seemed undoable. We have some experience with that at the Guild as well. It has never quite made sense. The lessons of 1980 now should be applied to 2019 and that means gathering some courage and venturing forth. To quote another entrepreneurial icon, Walt Disney, “Sometimes it’s fun to do the impossible.”
This fund-raising endeavor helps us grow as the Guild’s stewards and allows us to transition into a new era. It also provides a concrete focus for the improvement of our data collection and operational moxie. It’s exciting and I am proud to be on a Board with such diverse talents and which has a willingness to trust our community and Creator.