Look at the lilies! They don’t toil and spin. If God provides clothing for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose he will provide for you? Luke 12:27-28
Welcome to the inaugural post of Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center’s blog: Lilies of the Field which will showcase beauty through an array of voices which comprise Genesis. Each month you will hear once from me and once from another staff person, volunteer or guest, sharing perspectives on Genesis’ mission of hope and healing.
Since COVID-19 forced the closure of Genesis in March, the Genesis community has weathered the storms of family-members contracting the virus; the loss of a beloved, former Genesis Board Trustee; staff layoffs alongside increased stress for those retained during the layoff; shifting job tasks coupled with new distancing protocols when staff were called back to work; a learning curve and pliable timeline in planning for re-opening; and a sharp pivot to and uptick in offering on-line programs and retreats.
Believing in the Providential love of God doesn’t mean that our lives will be easy, it means that we are not alone in our struggles and grief; we are held by a love that knows no bounds.
These past months, spiritual direction sessions continued by phone, Zoom, or outdoors. Recently, 12-Step support groups resumed meeting in person, outside on Genesis’ grounds, observing physical distancing – we are so glad to have you back! Sunday, we will welcome a small handful of overnight guests to participate in Diarmuid O’Murchu’s When the Disciple Comes of Age retreat alongside more than 20 virtual retreatants. And next week, Genesis will begin offering two free Grief and Loss groups, on-line, related to the opioid crisis or addiction; this initiative is a collaboration with Westfield CORE (Coalition for Outreach, Recovery and Education), funded by a grant from Baystate Noble Hospital.
Last week, we emailed a survey to you, our on-line community. As we hear from you about your readiness to return, and what programs and retreats you would find supportive to your spiritual journey, we will respond as we also discern what these times are calling us to: our evolution and the transformation of individual, communal and systemic consciousness. How does the love of God in Christ help us co-create healing and justice, and surrender to God’s work of transfiguration and resurrection in the face of the climate crisis, Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and the continuing spread of COVID-19?
Genesis’ fall catalog will be published in September, slimmer, as a cost-cutting measure. GenesisSpiritualCenter.org is the best resource for up-to-date Genesis news, COVID-19 protocols, and program information.
Through this all, we have been sustained the unwavering support of the Sisters of Providence of Holyoke. With the support of the Sisters of Providence Ministry Corporation, Genesis was awarded a PPP grant which is helping defray salary and wage costs. The generous financial contributions of many Genesis community-members quite took us by surprise these past months, made more precious as they occurred unbidden in this uncertain time.
We now know it will take time for Genesis Hosted groups and program and retreat participants to return in sufficient numbers to meet our expenses, even with the support of the Sisters of Providence. At this time, I humbly, explicitly ask: If you are able, would you consider making a financial contribution to support Genesis’ ministry? We will gratefully accept a gift in any amount to offset the significant financial losses we are incurring this year. Prayers are always welcome!
We follow the example of our foundresses, placing our trust in Providence and knowing that at least in part, it flows through you, our community. We are optimistic as we look ahead – not because we know the road will be smooth, but because we know the glory of the One who beckons to us from the future.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” -Psalm 51:10 The words from the psalmist arise unbidden as my arm methodically pushes and pulls the vacuum cleaner along the long hallway floor in the guest wing.... “…a clean heart, O God.”
Posted on 9/8/2020
I am sitting in my room next to the window that frames two Maple trees that I believe are my age ....read on!
Posted on 9/23/2020
Thank you to all our generous sponsors, guests and staff who supported our mission of Hope & Healing through the 21st Anniversary Virtual Wine Tasting held on September 11, 2020! ...Read on....
Posted on 9/19/2020
Some of you may know me through your visits to Genesis as I am the Genesis registrar, and have worked at Genesis for over 22 years!
Posted on 8/24/2020
A few years ago, when I was in California visiting Fr. Peter Campbell, he shared with me an insight that had influenced him a great deal: In the Hebrew worldview and scriptures, Israel is understood both an individual and a community.
Posted on 8/1/2020
Look at the lilies! They don’t toil and spin. If God provides clothing for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose he will provide for you? Luke 12:27-28...read more!
Posted on 2020-07-02
On March 16, the reality of the pandemic hit me suddenly....
Posted on 2020-07-20