First, I want to say a GIANT thank you to all the people who came to our three work weekends at the Centre. The amount of work you did was amazing and so helpful. It really made a difference! It was equally important to hear from all of you about the future of the Centre. We heard many great ideas and some consistent themes started to emerge. Many believe the Centre, as a place of spiritual nurture and renewal still holds true; a place for education, personal growth and transformation with strong connections to the United Church.
What is less clear is how we do that. The possible operating model for the Centre is still to be determined. We heard many ideas for the operating model in the sessions in Naramata and the local session in Salmon Arm. One suggestion which was repeated regularly was to pick one thing and do it well, not to be all things to all people. We want your help in discerning that. Many people have stepped up and agreed to host local engagement sessions across BC and Alberta. So far we have one completed and 9 scheduled http://www.naramatacentresociety.org/local-engagement-sessions/ with more coming. When sessions are held in our home communities, board members will attend and help facilitate. We have very limited funds so we are relying on you donating your time to host and participate in the local engagement sessions.
Many people contacted us, when we were registering people for the work weekends that wanted to attend but could not. Please come out and share your thoughts at a local engagement session. We have had the feedback that people need more notice to be able to attend the work weekends and local sessions. As volunteers we are working to a very tight timeline. Our goal is to make the decision about whether we remain closed and dispose of the Centre property or whether the Centre can open in a new way, presenting our decision and plan to BC Conference and the Annual General meeting of the Naramata Centre society membership next spring. Between now and then we need to finish hearing from you; develop a viable operating plan based on your feedback; make decisions about the land and buildings; create a long term plan; and, consult and reach agreement with BC Conference.
We are up for this task! But we cannot do it without you. If you have already given us your thoughts, thank you. If not, please come out to a local engagement session. If there is no session near you consider hosting one. It can be as simple as gathering a few friends at your home. You can also use our idea generator on the website at http://www.naramatacentresociety.org/invest/ to give us your thoughts.
Thanks again for your support.