Chair’s Letter

Dear Beloved Community,

Well, it has been quite a year since we last gathered, hasn’t it? For many of us, myself included, the national news and political climate in which we find ourselves can be all consuming, overwhelming, endlessly frightening, infuriating, and depressing.

And yet. And. Yet. There is so much to hope for, and so much to be thankful for. It is good for us to be together. It is particularly important in these times that we be together. That we gather in love, support, strength, and laughter. It is more important than ever that we recommit to each other and our values. And that we laugh and have fun together. I can promise you this: at Summer Institute, there will always be plenty of laughter.

And so we will do all of these things! Gather with us this July, in community and solidarity and fun. In our gathering, find strength and rejuvenation. Play some music, some Peek, and some Euchre. Learn new ways of communicating with others and in line with our values. Sheila Schuh, the adult theme speaker, and Janine Harris Degitz, the youth theme speaker, will both be helping us learn new ways of living our values through the way we communicate, both at home and in the world.

There are some changes this year, and some things that remain the same as always. We’re looking forward to open elections of the next members of the Summer Institute Planning Council, and the Summer Institute Committee on Ministry (formerly the Strategic Planning Committee). We’re super excited about the next great thing in afternoon fun for the children: Dr. WhUU! (Yes, there will be the Tardis!)

In the last several months I have returned again and again to the words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her essay entitled We Were Made for These Times. The entire text is here: A favorite exerpt: “I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.”

I cannot wait to see you all again, or meet you for the first time! We’ll see you in July!


Gina Phillips
SIPC 2017 Chair