I’m approaching a time of rest, which I will admit is coming at the right time. I will be taking much of August off. For years I have found planning the summer difficult. Trying to live in the tension of wanting to give Cate a great holiday while needing to continue my commitments at work until having a break myself has been, well, tricky. With this is mind, Joanna and I began planning for the summer at a staff retreat months and months ago. It has also helped that Cate happily spends a couple of weeks at camps she loves and is growing in independence when she’s at home. It is becoming apparent that I am entering a new stage in life- a stage that I am equal parts excited and nervous about.

One of the challenges we face at The Dale when it comes to vacation time is that we are a staff of two. Fortunately Joanna and I are a piece of a much larger community that makes this place work. Core community members and volunteers prepare food, set-up rooms, do dishes, plan music sessions, deescalate tension, etc. As we often say though, a body has many parts, and a necessary part of The Dale is staff. Something we’ve been dreaming about is how to grow this part.

This is where you all come in: we could use your prayer and good thoughts as we consider how to move forward. We, along with our Board of Directors, are thinking through what role this person might fill and how a necessary component will be to raise the funds for their salary. The fundraising piece can sound daunting, but as someone who does just that I know how meaningful it is to have a wide circle of supporters invested in you. Joanna would say the same.

To say I love The Dale is an understatement. I continue to be aware of a deep sense of call to this place and my role in it. When things became dire in 2012 I recall praying for God to light our next steps. My prayer remains the same. If you’ve been following the journey you’ll know that it is a big deal that we are ready to grow into this next stage. In order to be ready for it though, I need to take a break and spend some uninterrupted time with my family. Please do stay tuned.