Being on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution in spring is akin to being inside a gentle giant that is waking up after a long winter‘s slumber.   As the air warms up, the giant starts to stretch and becomes active.  Legions of tradespeople start working on landscaping, house building, house repairs, road work and of course, this year, the completion of the new Amphitheater.  There is a noticeable buzz all around us.  If you have not seen the new Amp, you can view it at www.ciweb.org  Find the Amp cam at the bottom of that home page.  It’s a live feed that replenishes about every 15 minutes.  Amazing work!  At the same time, Chautauquans start to arrive from their winter homes and the parties begin as friends catch up with friends.  Most of these summer residents are also the backbone of the volunteer corps that support the Denominational Houses (like the IOKDS). They help at the Visitors Center, or sit on the Board of Directors of the Denominational Houses or volunteer with the Chautauqua Foundation or undertake any number of summer “jobs”.  Soon your IOKDS Building Committee members and volunteers will be here to peel off the layers of winter grime and polish and perfect every aspect of the houses, the chapel and the gardens.  Why? Because we know that those who come as students, clergy, members and guests will benefit from their time here and we want them to feel welcome and to be as comfortable as possible.   The first group into our houses will be our members of Central Council who start to arrive mid-June.  Central Council means working together in planning, preparing, reporting, deciding and learning.  The 2018 General Fund budget will be presented for approval.  Every Officer, International Committee Chairperson and Branch President will have the opportunity to report.  After that, the buzz continues to June 24 when everything stops and the 2017 Chautauqua season starts with its own special vibe.   Come.  You need to be here.

Christine Dawson
International President

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