2 Shots of Hope

The birth of Christ shatters fear and infuses hope for all Christian believers.  As the Christmas Carol lyrics suggest, we need to “repeat the sounding joy” throughout January days.  With the power of intention for joy and hope, we are entering a phase in the pandemic that calls for continued responsible decisions and behavior by…

Who? How?

In this day of constant digital connectivity, I still enjoy receiving Christmas cards by snail mail.  Every year I receive cards from a group of repeating friends, and every year I receive some unexpected cards as well.  This year, I already received a card from a mystery “Sarah.” As I re-read the note in the…

Tips for Virtual Meetings

Lessons Learned from the September Virtual Leadership Retreat With the COVID pandemic, Boards and groups of all kinds began replacing in-person meetings with virtual Zoom meetings.  Even a fledgling, bare-bones group can use it.  All that is needed is an internet connection, audio from a computer speaker or smartphone, and a webcam integrated into your…

Seismic College Challenges

In March, the 2020 US Census Bureau released educational attainment data showing that 36.3% of American adults 25 years and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher.  This fall nationwide in America, freshmen enrollment plummeted 16% for four-year colleges and 23% for community colleges.  (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center) In October 2020, the Canadian government…

Caring about Family Caregivers

Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to recognize November as National Family Caregivers Month – a time to celebrate caregivers’ contributions, provide them with tools that they need, and continue to advocate for individuals with mental illness. There are over 60 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends and neighbors, according to a…

Imagine After

For many of us, COVID will split our lives into two segments:  before and after the pandemic. If we think about our lives before the pandemic, we feel a loss of varying magnitude from the heartbreaking loss of life to everyday normal routine loss. Fifteen years ago, I was a volunteer nurse at two different…

Trick or Treat?

Autumn brings changes in color and temperature for me in the Midwest. It also brings about menu and activity changes under normal circumstances that I enjoy including picking apples and making pies. My grandchildren are talking about their Halloween costumes hoping there are choices other than a Spiderman mask. If allowed to trick or treat,…

Learning Gifts

For five weeks this summer, I had the privilege of supervising the work of two IOKDS Learn & Discern interns virtually.   Seeing my role as a facilitator of learning for both our organization and the interns, I assisted the interns in focusing their time and effort on projects that help our organization move forward with…

Certain Uncertainty

This is our new normal in many aspects of our personal and organizational lives.  So how is our 134-year old organization that embraces tradition more easily than change going to survive during this COVID year ahead?  And if the pandemic continues into 2022, will we find ourselves in a default position of too late to…

Forces Unseen

“Forces Unseen:  What Shapes Our Daily Life” is one of the Chautauqua Institution’s 2020 lecture week themes.  In thinking about this question, we might all immediately respond, saying the novel viral pandemic is one of the most significant forces shaping our lives in history.  It is hard to imagine how something so minute in size…

Encourage and Empower

What does the Learn & Discern summer internship really do?  From my perspective as a supervisor of two communication interns, it provides encouraging empowerment to young adults in their personal, spiritual and career development. How does this happen?  The foundation for growth is a trusted relationship between IOKDS and the intern with a meaningful commitment…