Monday, April 28, 2014

Reaching IN … for Outreach

One of the underlying theories of hiring an outreach coordinator is that having someone IN the building will encourage the surrounding community to come on in.  I’m a bit of a welcome mat, in that way.  

So, the space is set up: 
  • The building has internet and WiFi. 
  • I’ve figured out how to work the answering machine.
  • I’m in the building 8 hours a week. 
  • I’ve printed business cards and bookmarks.
  • I can program the heating system up to a week ahead of time.  
  • Enhancing children’s spaces, both inside and out. 
  • Setting up a welcoming work space for me.  Just yesterday, I found myself smiling when I noticed people stopping in the space for a conversation, or heading for my desk and finding that stack of scrap paper and pen I had left there on purpose.  
  • We are seeing about maybe getting our phone number put on a sign outside.  No more hiding under a bushel! 

Once people come inside, of course, we want an enriching connection for all of us, whether it is for a one-time rental, an art class, or a streamed program.  

The Program Committee is about to meet for the first time.  Individuals and meeting members are sharing their visions for programs and activities.  There’s a sense that we are starting something new.

One of my former students,
looking "in" at a rock
The amazing part, for me, has been looking IN on the Meeting.  People here have been sharing their ambitions for the Center, yes, and it is exciting.  People have also told me about their pasts, their delights and disappointments, and their spiritual stock-taking.  They are frank, they are loving, and they are not perfect.  But, they all desire to be true to their Inner Teacher.  They listen hard and try to live their truths.  By adding Outreach, we’re not really starting something new so much as letting our own Light shine.  For me, this time of finding each other is when the magic happens.  I continue to be impressed and astounded by  the gifts of others. 

We’ve made a great start by opening the building.  Now we are inviting people in.  To echo a Pogo comic strip: Some of them is us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Open House

Come meet me, make a "May basket," see the facility, and enjoy a refreshing treat! May 4th, 1:30-3:00, 77 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta.

There's lots of activity planned for our beautiful spot. Additions to the play yard are being installed (a sandbox and a music-making station), some summer activities are scheduled, and I've started opening the Meetinghouse during the week. Meanwhile, early flowers are beginning to push their way through today's coating of snow!

Next steps are being envisioned, and our Center's Program Committee is ready to gear up.  Just wait until they hear some of the project ideas I've heard floating around!  I'll let you know, too, once they get underway.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ready, Set ... Staff!

Today I changed the answering machine message on the Midcoast Friends Meeting phone to include the Outreach and Peace Center details.  I'll be at the Center M/W from 10-2 for a start. Those hours will be supplemented with volunteers and special events, too.

There are:
Four monthly family Friendly activities already in the planning stages;
Three additions to the play yard being plotted out;
Two days a week when the building is staffed and open to the public (Monday/Wed 10-2);
One beautiful location with play yard, memorial garden, nature path, fields, and 24/7 WiFi

Upcoming blog posts will have more details about those events already in the planning stages!