Seeking Board and Committee Members

The Naramata Centre Society is seeking candidates to serve on the Centre’s Board of Directors and on our committees, which will support the work of the Centre. 

Board Recruitment

Candidates for the Board will be presented by the nomination committee for election by the society membership at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 25.  Candidates are encouraged to attend the AGM.

For the Board of Directors we are seeking people with the following areas of expertise:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Communications
  • Business
  • Fund Development
  • Volunteer Coordination

Given the important relationship Naramata Centre has with the community of Naramata we are seeking people who live in Naramata with skills in the areas listed above. 

We are also seeking at least one member under 30 years of age.

We are operating as a management board with limited staff, and a large number of volunteers.  The time commitment for a board member is significant. We are seeking people who are able to give approximately four to five hours a week to Board work.

Much of the work can be completed electronically using e-mail and conference calls. The Board meets in person four times a year on weekends, usually at the Centre.

Committee Recruitment

This fall we are establishing a number of Board-led committees to support the work of the Centre, and we are seeking people to serve on the following committee areas:

  1. Program
    The Program Committee develops plans for programs that are approved on an annual basis by the Board. A key function of the committee is to engage with potential participants through market research (primarily surveys) to determine the desired programming. Representatives on the committee will be chosen based on their connection to their community and United Church congregations.

  2. Buildings and Maintenance
    The Buildings and Maintenance Committee is responsible for ensuring that regular maintenance and upgrades are planned and completed.

  3. Finance and Audit
    The Finance and Audit Committee has overall responsibility for ensuring that a balanced budget with sufficient revenues to cover operating costs, maintenance, replacement reserve and contingency is developed annually and approved by the board.

  4. Fund Development
    The Fund Development Committee is focused on raising capital for new buildings or other major capital expenditures.

Committee members meet approximately four times a year with two meetings in person and others via conference call.  Committee members can also expect to do some work between meetings.

If you are interested in the opportunity of being on the board or on a committee, please e mail and a member of the nominating committee will contact you. If you know someone who you think would be an asset to the Centre, please encourage them to apply.

We are pleased to accept expressions of interested in being on the Board until May 13, 2016.

Opportunities to Volunteer at the Centre

Spring has begun in Naramata and the land at the Centre needs some loving care. Jim and Donna Simpson, and Diane Ransom have offered to coordinate two opportunities for people to lend a hand to help get the Centre grounds ready for spring and summer:

Easter Weekend, Sat March 26 & Sun March 27

Come join us at the Centre on Easter Weekend. We’re looking forward to getting a good start on spring cleanup of the gardens and grounds throughout the Centre. Because the Centre’s buildings have been closed and winterized, accommodation at the Centre will not be available. You will be responsible for your own food and snacks. Please contact Diane or Jim/Donna with any questions you may have or to let us know if you’d like to join us for either or both days. Many hands make light work!

Weekly Volunteer Work Party - Thursday Mornings

If you live nearby, please consider coming out for our NEW weekly garden and grounds work parties. We’re planning to meet every Thursday morning from 9 till 12 (weather permitting). Come to the Sacred Garden, just west of the chapel. One of us will be there each Thursday at 9 with a list of chores to choose from for the day. No need to phone ahead or confirm. Just come when you can, bring a pair of gloves, your favourite gardening tools, a snack and drink. We’re planning to start on March 10 and run for a couple of weeks and see how things go. We’d very much appreciate your help!

Thanks for your support for Naramata Centre!

Board Membership Update

It is with much regret that we announce Dhane Merriman’s resignation from the Board of Naramata Centre Society. Dhane has been a board member since the spring of 2014 and vice-chair since June 2015. He has helped the board navigate through some difficult and challenging times. 
As a board managing without staff all of us have made significant time commitments to the Centre. Working with others on the board Dhane focussed on the site and building maintenance as well as working on our future operating plan.
Since joining the Board, Dhane’s business life has continued to evolve and with new opportunities emerging he finds it necessary to re-focus his attention in that direction.
Please join us in thanking Dhane for his service. We wish him well in his ongoing endeavours.


Save the Date!

Naramata Centre Spring Work Week and Fall Work Weekend

Naramata Centre will be hosting a work week from May 23 to 27 to get the Centre ready for the recently announced summer season which starts May 28 and ends October 15, 2016. We welcome all who are willing to come and work at the Centre during these 5 days. If you are unable to attend but would like to help the Centre please donate towards the costs of materials and equipment for this week on our website at

Some examples of the work are:

  • Exterior maintenance for Chalmers Chapel including scraping and staining the wood
  • Site cleanup - raking, pruning, weeding, mulching etc.
  • Painting
  • Cleaning out the green house, shops and fenced yard
  • Setting up the south side camp kitchen, Creekside commons, distributing picnic tables and raking camp spots
  • Inspecting and ensuring children’s play spaces are safe
  • Ensuring electrical to campsites is all operational, fixing signage throughout the campgrounds and site
  • Cleaning the camp washrooms - fresh coat of paint on floors and walls if necessary
  • Getting the accommodation rooms ready - includes cleaning, furniture and housewares placement
  • Weeding and raking the beach

Accommodation in the Campground, East Court, Orchard Court or Cottage Court is free in return for your labour. Expect a 9-4 work day as there is much to be done. Most of the accommodation is in reasonable shape but you will need to clean your space when you move in and when you leave. Clean bedding and towels will be supplied. You will be responsible for your own meals. Potluck meals are a definite possibility!

Given the nature of the week and the type of work we have planned we recommend that if families are considering coming to the work week that only people under 18 who are capable of working independently attend with their parents or guardians. We will be opening registration for the work week in March.

We are holding a similar work weekend opportunity October 21-24. Please save this date. We will provide more details later this spring.

A Call for Program Proposals

Summer 2016 at the Centre

Many have suggested that if Naramata Centre is to succeed in any plan to re-open that providing access to the Centre in the summer of 2016 is very important. In our mid-January board update, we reported that as we consider a future for Naramata Centre, we have decided to invite back past participants and new folks to the Centre from 28 May - 15 October, 2016. There will be opportunities to book self-catered rental accommodations and self-catered space in the campground, and we are excited to test people’s appetite for program experiences at the Centre.

You Are Invited:  A Call For Program Proposals!

Do you have a workshop that’s just waiting to be offered? Are you looking for an inspiring location to lead a program? Have you been yearning to be at Naramata Centre in a leadership capacity? 

The Naramata Centre Society board is looking for contracted program leaders to facilitate dynamic experiences for people of all ages and stages at the Centre, for our upcoming May 28 to October 15, 2016 summer season. Summer 2016 will feature collaborative approaches to programming at the Centre, emphasizing multi-generational and diverse community experiences that relate to spiritual nurture, earth justice, health and well-being, the arts or leadership.  Join us as we test new ground and grow roots for a sustainable future model.

We have extended our deadline and are accepting program proposals for review by the Naramata Centre Board Program Task Group, until March 11, 2016

For program leadership information packages email us at


More about the 'Why' for Summer 2016 

We have three outcomes we are seeking for this coming summer. First, we have not yet made the decision to re-open and want to test the interest and support for doing so by inviting people to come back. Second, we want to generate revenue to cover the costs of maintaining the Centre throughout the year. Third, we want to make space for people to be able to experience spiritual growth and community once again at Naramata. Part of what we all received from Naramata was the opportunity to explore and grow our spiritual connection, which in the past was generated by programs and a strong sense of a safe, caring community.

We are excited as you consider ways that you can join us this summer season, collaboratively creating opportunities that inspire transformation and encourage spiritual nurture at Naramata Centre!

Warm regards,

Naramata Centre Board Program Task Group

Newsflash NEW AGM DATE

agm new date 25 june 2016.png

Naramata Centre Society has changed the date for our Annual General Meeting, to be held in Naramata BC, to June 25, 2016 in response to a request from BC Conference of the United Church. There was a conflict with our original AGM date due to a meeting BC Conference executive had scheduled, which meant Conference representatives would not be able to be present at our AGM. We believe it is very important that representatives of BC Conference attend our AGM so have changed the date. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused for those of you who have already made travel plans to attend the original date.

Board Mid-January Update

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break, enjoying family and friends and the spirit of the season.

Refugee update

There was a great deal of interest in the Centre’s offer to provide short-term accommodation for up to four Syrian refugee families in partnership with volunteers in Naramata Village and the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services Society. We are still waiting to hear from the Federal government whether refugees will be coming to Naramata. We will let you know as soon as we have any news.

Looking to the future

After taking time to celebrate Christmas, the board is hard at work developing an operating plan to be reviewed by both BC Conference and our membership in the spring.

While we have not yet made the decision to re-open, it has been suggested by many that if Naramata Centre is to succeed in any plan to re-open that providing access to the Centre in the summer of 2016 is very important. As our Board considers a future for Naramata Centre, we have decided to invite back past participants and new folks to the Centre this summer from May 28 to October 15. The invitation will include opportunities to rent accommodations or space in the camp ground for a week at a time.  We won’t be providing food services.

We also want the people who return to the Centre this summer to be able to experience spiritual growth and community once again at Naramata. Part of what we all received from the Centre was the opportunity to explore and grow spiritually, which in the past was generated by learning experiences and a strong sense of a safe, caring community.  We are currently exploring options for providing access to programs to achieve this goal.

Stay connected

We have a Board meeting at the end of January where will be finalizing plans for 2016. In February we will provide more information about both our short and long term plans - please stay tuned! If you aren't already subscribed to our email newsletter, please click:  SIGN UP HERE to ensure you receive our updates as soon as they are available.


For Your Interest: Where Local Engagement Sessions Were Hosted

Here is a list of the Local Engagement Sessions which occurred across BC and Alberta and beyond in October and November.

Board members, work weekend volunteers, members and Naramata Centre supporters participated in the local engagement sessions. Thanks to all for being present to the discussion and part of the work, helping to discern the future of the Naramata Centre site and Society. Over 270 people participated in these sessions or by sending us individual or small group submissions 

  • Salmon Arm, BC: October 18
  • Bowen Island, BC: October 28
  • St. Albert, AB: November 1
  • Toronto, ON: November 1
  • Vancouver, BC: November 1
  • Calgary, AB: November 2
  • Naramata Centre, BC: October 1, 3, 10 & 17
  • Kelowna, BC: November 6
  • Abbotsford, BC: November 8
  • Calgary, BC: November 8
  • Delta, BC: November 8
  • Grand Prairie, AB: November 8
  • Nanaimo, BC: November 8
  • Red Deer, AB: November 8
  • Victoria, BC: November 8
  • Edmonton, AB: November 11
  • Surrey, BC: November 11

November 2015 Board Update

You can also read this post at this link: Naramata Centre E-News

It was a lovely fall weekend in Naramata when your Board gathered, Nov 20-22, to explore possibilities for the future. Please read on for information and updates about Engagement Session ResultsShort and Long Term ApproachesRefugee Response, and 2016 AGM Dates.



Over 270 people in 20 local engagement sessions told us what they thought.  And we used this information to guide our thinking and planning for the future.  

Given the enthusiastic response we received from you, the Board is keen to move forward towards re-opening the Centre,  if a sustainable financial model can be found to do so . The next step is developing a financially viable operating plan that ensures meaningful activities and experiences for people who attend the Centre.

We spent time at this meeting focussing on the core purpose of the Centre using the feedback you provided in the engagement sessions. Please see the summary of these results posted on the Board’s blog November 25th:


As a managing board with no employees our work is always a combination of taking care of day to day tasks to ensure the ongoing well being of the Centre as well as long term planning for the future.  

We have been working to reduce costs at the Centre. The expenses and revenues are much less than they were when the Centre was operating and we have reduced our costs to match our much reduced revenues.  For 2016 we have a ways to go in having revenues match expenditures and will be working on options for generating revenue while we develop an operating plan for consideration by BC Conference and our members.

As suggested by many of you in the engagement sessions we have been looking at what we can learn from other retreat centres in various countries in addition to Canada.  Our thanks to Dr. Janet Groen of the University of Calgary for her help with this work. Each of the retreat Centres have a unique history and quite different operating models. As we move through development of an operating plan we will be drawing on the information from these other centres to help guide us.

We spent time understanding in depth our buildings and land, including our sewage system, examining the strengths and weaknesses of each building.  Our thanks to Craig Burns and Robin Robertson for sharing their expertise with us. As a number of you said it is important for the board to identify which buildings are central to our ongoing purpose as well as identifying which land or buildings may be surplus and can be used to generate revenue by being leased or sold.

We spent time understanding a variety of tools which could possibly assist us in developing an operating model such as cooperatives, Community Contribution companies, social enterprise, partnerships with businesses, fractional ownership and fund raising.

Our goal in creating an operating plan for review by BC Conference and our membership is to describe what we want the Centre to be providing in 5 years and how we will be providing that with milestones to be achieved for each year of that 5 year plan.  If we are able to re-open we know we have to start small and revenues must match expenditures in each year of operation within the 5 year plan.  We are excited about the possibilities. Between now and our January meeting we will be doing in depth research on the available tools and developing two options for an operating plan for the future. At our January meeting we will finalize the draft operating plan for initial review by BC Conference in February. 


Many of our society members, Centre supporters, local residents and other neighbours near and far have wondered about using Naramata Centre as a place for housing. Please read our blog post of Nov 24, sharing our decision to support help for Syrian refugees:


We have set Saturday May 28 as the date for our Annual General meeting. Thank you to all of you who have joined as members of the society. If you want to be able to participate in the AGM as a voting member and have not already joined, please do so by the end February to meet the requirement of having been a member for three months prior to the AGM. Join the Society at this link:

We look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming months.


The Board team


Doug Woollard, Kathy Hamilton, Sarah Vollett, Dhane Merriman, Tressa Brotsky, Jeremy Church, Pam Rinehart, Norma Fraser, Jenne Newman, Barb Hatfield, Mandy Roberston, Gordon How (BC Conference Rep)

Results from the Engagement Sessions

Thank you to all those who hosted local engagement sessions across BC, Alberta and Toronto! We are very grateful for your support and could not have done it without you. There were 20 public sessions and a number of individual submissions. Over 270 people participated providing us with valuable feedback about a possible future for Naramata Centre. 

Once we received all the feedback (thank you note takers!) we analysed the data using a theme analysis. We asked you what we should keep doing. From the theme analysis the six strongest themes, in order of priority, of what Naramata Centre should keep being were:

  • Continue to be a place of Spiritual nurture, growth and transformation
  • A caring community which creates the space for growth by being a physically and emotionally safe place for children, youth and adults to risk and grow
  • Providing leadership training for youth, clergy and lay leaders in the church
  • Music and the arts as an integral part of the Naramata experience
  • Providing intergenerational programming, and
  • Child and youth programming

We asked you what should change at the Centre. Overall there was a strong appetite for change with many suggestions.  The top six themes for change, in order of priority, were:

  • Don’t hold to how summer programs were done in the past
  • Change the way people are fed when they attend the Centre
  • Improve the marketing and advertising for the Centre
  • Change the staffing and business model
  • Don’t try to be all things to all people
  • Reduce the amount of land used for Centre programming

We asked you who else we should call to be involved in this work. The top six themes in order of priority were:

  • Learn from other spiritual retreat and arts centres
  • Partner with Universities and Colleges who would provide courses on the Centre site
  • Continue the truth and reconciliation process with First Nations
  • Create partnerships with the local community and businesses in Naramata
  • Have a “trade work for time” volunteer approach at Naramata Centre
  • A temporary place for refugees or the homeless

Lastly we asked you for your ideas for the next steps. There were fewer ideas presented and less agreement about which should be a priority.  The top four themes in order of priority were:

  • Expand and upgrade the campground opening to the public in shoulder season
  • Reconcile our land and building assets with our needs
  • Restore hosted programs for year round sustainable income with organizations which share the Centre’s values
  • Contract for food services when needed

The feedback was rich and sometimes contradictory. Most of the people who attended had strong connections to the Centre often speaking of profound positive changes in their lives made because they attended the Centre.

We heard that we need to do a better job of communicating to all people who are interested, particularly those who do not use social media or visit our website.  Watch for changes in how we communicate with you.

We value the time you took to be part of this and will use the information in building our plan for the future. Given the enthusiastic response we received from you, the Board is keen to move forward towards re-opening the Centre, if a sustainable financial model can be found to do so. The next step is developing a financially viable operating plan that ensures meaningful activities and experiences for people who attend the Centre.

Doug Woollard
Board Chair

Naramata Centre Society Responds to Help Syrian Refugees

Naramata Centre Society has been asked to assist Syrian refugees coming to Canada by providing short term housing. We are currently working with South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS) and local volunteers to determine if Naramata Centre facilities can be used to house 3 to 4 refugee families as part of the Government’s effort to bring Syrian refugees to Canada. We are pleased to be able to help by working with others in the community to assist in the response to one of the largest refugee crises in recent memory. 

Should the Federal Government decide to bring refugees to the South Okanagan the Naramata Centre Society would be participating in this partnership by providing much needed housing.  SOICS and volunteers from Naramata village will be providing the direct support to the refugees. We will provide updates as we learn more about what is happening, and the role we may play in assisting these families. 

Young Adults - We Want to Hear Your Voices

In this season of Naramata Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things: I am thankful that I serve a Society that values the voices of youth and young adults enough that they have designated spots on the Board specifically for young adults. I am thankful that I have been chosen by the Society members at our last AGM to serve as one of their young adult Board members. And I am thankful that through my role on the Board, I was able to attend a Work and Engagement Session at Naramata over Thanksgiving weekend. But I realize that many young adults are unable to manage the time and cost required to make a trip to Naramata, whether to attend a Work and Engagement Session, or to attend an AGM. But it is so important to me that the voices of youth and young adults not be lost. That's why I want to make sure you know about our next upcoming opportunity, which doesn't require travel and which we hope you will all be able to participate in - local engagement sessions across BC and Alberta (and further!) 

What are local engagement sessions, you are (hopefully) wondering? The Board wants as much input as possible on the purpose and future of Naramata Centre. We want to invite Naramata Centre friends of all ages, in communities across the country, to get together and collectively answer the same Engagement and Vision questions that we put to on-site work volunteers earlier this month. At this point everything is on the table for discussion – buildings, land, money, fundraising, programming, etc. But we alone, the Board, cannot answer all the important questions or solve the problem. We need your help in answering the question: “What is Naramata Centre called to be?”

So how can you get involved? There are three ways, listed in order from least commitment to the most - hopefully there will be an option that will work for you!

  1. Spread the word: The Board has contact information for many Naramata supporters, including young adults, but we know there are many we aren't connected with. If you know of anyone who would be interested in learning more or attending an engagement session, please pass the info on to them.
  2. Attend an engagement session: The list of engagement sessions scheduled so far are posted on our website. There are a few more in the works, and this information will be posted on the website as well as on our Facebook page as they are organized
  3. Help support an engagement session: Hosting an engagement session requires a facilitator, a note taker, not to mention the logistics of organizing a space, creating a welcoming environment, etc. If you are attending an event and want to get more involved, let us know - the facilitator is more than likely to welcome the extra assistance.

Don't see an engagement session in your community? It's not too late to host one yourself. Many youth and young adults in the Naramata community have had the chance to learn facilitation skills through the Centre, whether on Summer Staff, at Winter Session, or through participation in Centre programming. Now is a great opportunity to put those skills into practice! Just know that the Board needs the data from the engagement session before November 12.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved, please email me at

Sarah Vollett
Secretary, Summer Staff and Winter Session Alumna, and Proud Naramata Centre Young Adult

Thank You!

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 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 to give us your thoughts.

Thanks again for your support.

Doug Woollard

Board chair

Engagement: On-site, and Coming Soon to your own community.

A very diverse group of 23 people came together to work and share their ideas during the first Naramata Centre Work and Engagement Weekend. We had two people from outside Naramata who had never been to the Centre for a program before, who came because they wanted to help. We had a person from Naramata village who had no previous connection and was new to the village donate his time and vehicle for two days to help with the work. We had long time participants and former staff come to work, share and celebrate the past. One person came all the way from Grand Prairie!

Work & Engagement Weekend One volunteers at the Job Board.

Work & Engagement Weekend One volunteers at the Job Board.

Our weekend started early on Thursday evening when we hosted a meeting for Naramata Village residents to keep them informed about what we as a board are doing, answer their questions,and hear their ideas about the future. For those who could arrive early, the work weekend started Friday afternoon. We gathered in the chapel Friday night to express our gratitude for what the Centre has been in the past, and start the conversation about a possible future. 

Evening Engagement Session with the Volunteers

Evening Engagement Session with the Volunteers

Everyone went to work Saturday morning on the many tasks necessary to get Naramata Centre ready for winter. It was comforting to know that there are two more weekends to follow and that we did not have to get everything done ourselves. For those coming next, don’t worry, there is lots to do! The number of tasks can be a bit overwhelming but once we got down to work and focussed on the present, and the task at hand, whether that was gardening, cleaning or moving furniture, it felt great to be contributing.

It was quite amazing how much work was completed. Together we created community and had great discussions about possibilities for the future with lots of insightful ideas and outside the box thinking. The bookstore was open and well used by participants (and will be open at our next two work weekends, and also open to Village residents). Thanks to everyone who came to work and share their ideas!!

Kids helping to clean the Chapel at Naramata Centre Society Work & Engagement Weekend One.

Kids helping to clean the Chapel at Naramata Centre Society Work & Engagement Weekend One.

We learned a lot from this first weekend and will be taking the feedback we received and using it to improve the experience for the two remaining weekends. We plan to use what we learned about how to have the discernment conversation when we provide similar opportunities in communities across BC and Alberta, called Local Engagement Sessions, about a possible future for Naramata Centre. One of the things we learned is that people are keen to talk about a possible future. 

Look for information the upcoming Local Engagement Sessions in your community, coming soon. If you would like to help organize a Local Engagement Session in the last week of October or first week in November,  to engage your community in discussions about the possible future of Naramata Centre, please contact us at: with the subject line: Local Engagement Session.

Doug Woollard
Board Chair

The Centre of Attention

That's the beautiful and astute title of this piece, written by the Editor of My Naramata, an online community hub of news and information for the village of Naramata. Thank you, Deb!

Click on the link here "The Centre of Attention" to read the full article.

"Fall at Naramata Work Weekend". This stunning photo is by Sheila Woolard, Work & Engagement Weekend One participant. Thank you, Sheila!

"Fall at Naramata Work Weekend". This stunning photo is by Sheila Woolard, Work & Engagement Weekend One participant. Thank you, Sheila!

To see and read more information updates on our work weekends, check out our Facebook page too!

Getting together with Neighbours

Today, I posted the announcement below, to It might be a couple of days before it's live on the website ( is an amazing hub of moderated information about what's happening in the Village, be sure to check it out), so here's the announcement now. Go ahead and forward this blog post to anyone you think needs to know about our invitation to the Local Community & Businesses of Naramata Village. Thanks for helping to get the word out!

Dear Naramata Village residents and businesses,

On October 1st please join our board chair Doug Woollard, and board member Jeremy Church, for a conversation about "Naramata Centre”. We want your input and ideas as we think and act our way toward a new future. What is Naramata Centre called to be?

Naramata Centre Engagement Evening
1 October 2015 (Thursday)
7pm in the Chalmers Chapel

In June 2015 at the Naramata Centre Annual General Meeting, the Naramata Centre Society elected a new board of directors. With the Centre closed, this board operates as a management board, and our primary tasks are to secure the Naramata Centre property site and to discern the future of the Naramata Centre. There are 11 members on the board of directors from BC and Alberta; we are all volunteers. You can find out more about the members of the board on our website: Click here! Board Team

The board is looking at October as a full month of Thanksgiving, and we’re enabling volunteers from the Naramata Centre Society and it’s supporters, to come ready the the Centre for winter in the spirit of gratitude and community. This will happen over 3 weekends in October, called Work & Engagement Weekends. Folks are traveling from across BC and Alberta, and from right up the street, to volunteer and participate. Their work will be to care for the site, and to engage in important conversations about the purpose and future of the Naramata Centre Society. Local residents are very welcome to join any of the 3 Work & Engagement Weekends as well. Full information on the Work & Engagement Weekends is on our website: Click here! Sign up is required, to help organize the job board. 

Here are a number of ways for you to stay informed about the work and progress of the Naramata Centre Society:

We look forward to hosting you in Chalmers Chapel at 7:00 pm on Oct 1st!

Tressa  Brotsky, 
Executive Board Member, Communications Lead



Work + Engagement Weekend SIGN UP IS OPEN!

Click here for all the details, and sign up forms!

As announced in late-August, the board of directors is pleased to invite the supporters and members of Naramata Centre Society into a month of giving thanks for Naramata Centre!  In August, we invited you to save the dates, and help spread the word of our coming Work & Engagement Sessions. Now, we are ready for you sign up to come - join us at the Centre.

The general information on the October 2015 Work and Engagement page pertains to each of the Work and Engagement weekends. Following the general information, you'll see three separate sign up links. There is one link for each unique date of each Work & Engagement Weekend.

Please read all of the general information carefully before signing up for the weekend of your choosing. Many questions are answered in the information contained on the website and sign up forms.

On behalf of Jenne, Jeremy, Pam, and Barb
(we are the board Engagement Task Group),
and with great anticipation and appreciation,

~ Tressa
Board member, communications lead

Report from the Board

Your board of directors met on the weekend of August 14-16 at Naramata Centre. At this meeting we welcomed a new board member, Rev. Gordon How who has been appointed as an ex-officio member by BC Conference. 

The board team gathered around the Light of Christ. August 2015.

The board team gathered around the Light of Christ. August 2015.

Although most of us had been to the Centre since the closure it was a strange feeling to be there without staff and participants in the middle of August. We appreciated the presence of the tenants who provide some sense of life and activity for the place. Many of the board have long associations with the Centre in multiple roles as summer staff, winter session and program participants.  Returning to the Centre property brought back many fond memories for us when we walked the Centre grounds on Friday night.  But then it was time to look to the future. 

We worked on how, as a management board, we would govern ourselves and have developed a good understanding of what needs to come to the full board, and what can be delegated to task groups who are given a mandate by the full board to act. In addition to our executive, we established task groups to achieve the work goals we set for the next 6 months.  The work is a mix of maintaining the site and future planning. The task groups are focused on:

  1. Ongoing site maintenance
  2. Research and planning for future site use
  3. Engagement with members and supporters about the future, both on the Naramata site and in your communities
  4. Working with volunteers – How do we recruit and support volunteers to help with a variety of tasks
  5. Communication with all who have an interest in the Centre

The Board spent time determining how we will run our meetings. We will be using a consent agenda approach to ensure all voices are heard while we move forward with our agenda. Most of us did not know each other before we joined the board so we spent time getting to know one another and, in true Naramata fashion, started to build a community.

We spent time giving our answers to the questions:

“What are you looking for and how is Naramata Centre uniquely positioned to meet that need”
“What is Naramata Centre Society called to be?”

Most importantly we decided we need to come and speak with you about the future of the Centre and we will be developing an approach to do just that in late October in communities in BC and Alberta.  Watch for more details in the coming weeks.

We are also inviting you to come to the Centre to help get the site ready for winter.  You have likely already seen the note announcing the dates on three consecutive weekends October 3 - 4; 10-12; and, 17-18. Board members will be on hand each weekend to help organize the work parties and engage in conversation about the future. The Bookstore will open briefly each weekend for your purchases. 

We worshipped together, ate together, did our own dishes and washed our own bedding.  The task ahead for all of us, determining the future of Naramata Centre Society is one filled with opportunity and hard work.  We alone as the Board cannot achieve this goal. We must hear from you who care about the future of the Centre. We need your help in answering the question “what is Naramata Centre called to be?”

Doug Wollard
Board chair

Sunday worship, lyrics of Nancy Nordlie, "Peace Is the Wholeness". August 2015

Sunday worship, lyrics of Nancy Nordlie, "Peace Is the Wholeness". August 2015

Follow your heart to Naramata Centre

The board of directors are pleased invite supporters and members of Naramata Centre Society into a month of giving THANKS for Naramata Centre! 

For all that the Centre has offered over the decades, it now needs our loving attention, hard work and important conversations heading as we look ahead to the winter season. The board is excited to arrange 3 Work & Engagement Weekends at the Naramata Centre site during the month of October 2015. Different members of the board will be present at each weekend, and will host a pot-luck meal with intentional conversation each weekend about the future of Naramata Centre, for all volunteers who are present.

Read more about this invitation in our latest e-News. Click here!

6 Weeks On

We have been together as a Board for 6 weeks now. It has been an active summer for your Board with much work done on behalf of the Society.

It was very clear to the Board, from the those who spoke at the Society AGM in late June, that people wanted the opportunity to renew their memberships in the Naramata Centre Society as soon as possible so they would have a voice in the future of the Centre and we have worked quickly to do that. We are thrilled that over 100 people have already signed up as members!

As we heard at the AGM the Society's finances are not in good shape which is why we chose to charge a fee for membership this year. The funds will be used to support communication and engagement with our members.

We are working on plans to engage the members of the Society and our many supporters this fall to get people’s input on the future of the Centre. At the same time we are working hard to reduce the ongoing costs of the Centre site so we can have a balanced budget while the Centre remains closed. Reducing costs and organizing the maintenance of the site is consuming significant time and energy on the part of our volunteer board. Watch for opportunities, in the coming weeks, for volunteers to help us maintain the property and buildings.  Once we have secured the site and buildings for winter we will be able focus our energy on the future of the Centre without incurring further debt.

In the fall we will be inviting our membership and supporters to dream, vision, and plan for the future of Naramata Centre Society alongside the Board. Many of you have already made suggestions to us about what the future might be for the Centre. Thank you very much for your commitment to the Centre and the ideas you’ve brought forward. We are collecting those ideas as we receive them.

We would welcome your participation in creating a vision for the future!

Currently we are welcoming people who donate to the Centre monthly to continue to do so.  We very much appreciate your donations. These funds are being used to maintain the Centre buildings and property. We welcome additional donations for this purpose. As we begin the dialogue with you to discern the future of the Society and the Centre any potential additional fund raising will only come after there is a clear future and plan for the Centre.

Doug Woollard,
Board chair