Recently I was sitting in my favourite coffee shop listening to the voices around me speaking French, an eastern European language, another language that sounded like Arabic and, of course, English. I live close to a city that has been described as one of the most multicultural in the world. I see no evidence to the contrary. This human mosaic is a constant reminder of how large the world is and how important our work is to reach out with our programs and services.
We are truly blessed to be able to do that because we have our houses and chapel on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. For 4 days in June, the houses are filled with our Central Council members coming together to conduct the Order’s business. We fill every bed and use the Chapel and Fellowship Hall daily. For four weeks, the houses fill with the energy of our Chautauqua Scholars, for another week the Clergy Renewal participants come for respite, and at the end of the summer, your International Officers come for a few days of intense work and team building.
Between all of that, the houses provide affordable accommodation for Chautauqua visitors. These guests have become friends and some have become members. All learn more about who we are and what we do. And during the nine weeks of the Chautauqua Season, all around us is internationally composed music, words delivered by lecturers from all parts of the world, and praise and prayer composed and spoken in English, Hebrew and Arabic. You need to come and experience this for yourself – come – there is no other place like it in the world.
Our reach not only includes those whom we meet face-to-face, our newly-designed website shows the world who we are; our financial scholarships support close to 100 students, and our support for endorsed missions helps in places too numerous to count.
The only way we accomplish this is through you and I and all the other members choosing to be bound together in a generous twine too strong to snap. There are other people like you who want to help but know they cannot do it alone. Watch for them and invite them to join in on this marvelous movement. Collectively we make a difference across the street and around the world.