October 29, 2020
For the past 90 years, Pendle Hill has been a place where many Friends and seekers have experienced a deep life transformation. This is true for many friends, those that came for a sabbatical, participated in our educational programs, sojourned with us, or participated in other programs on our campus. We have become a special place where many have found renewal, connection, deep listening, and exploration.
Now, as we enter a new chapter in our history, I would like to share my dream for Pendle Hill. A dream that, while rooted in our best tradition of experiential learning, creates and welcomes new insights to address our current moment in history with a deep sense of hope, community, and service. In some ways, more than offering a new narrative for Pendle Hill, this vision represents a reinvigoration of our long institutional commitment to plant, nurture, and share the seeds of transformation for our world.
My vision of Pendle Hill is a mosaic composed of three essential and practical ideas:
For many years, we have been an organization that could easily be described as a progressive institution. I believe that we have served this role well as we facilitated and supported many processes and activities aimed to promote and sustain justice, equality, and diversity not only for guests, but for our staff and organizational community. It is time for us to renew and expand our commitment to those values as we open ourselves to the Spirit and as we create space to be a prophetic witness organization within our society. I believe that we, a small Quaker retreat, study, and conference center, can be a place where hope and solidarity permeate all aspect of our institution. A place where hope is experienced as an essential ingredient in our many offerings, and where solidarity is articulated as a dynamic force within our decisions and actions.
The second essential thought in my vision has to do with making Pendle Hill a place that incarnates the Beloved Community. This is an invitation to create community as we practice the radical hospitality of welcoming people and providing them with a friendly support for inner and outer transformation. I see Pendle Hill as a place where acceptance is common practice, where diversity is celebrated as we honor the dignity of everyone, and where reconnecting with nature is fostered by our organizational practice; a place where Friends and sojourners find their own path with and within the dynamic companionship of others.
As I dream about this Beloved Community, I expand that vision to the process of how we create a staff community where employees are perceived as collaborators and are encouraged and supported in their personal and professional growth. As a Friends organization, Pendle Hill will continue fostering staff participation inspired in Quaker faith and practice. I am committed to a vision of Pendle Hill that continues welcoming diversity and inclusion among its workforce; a staff community where racial, cultural, religious, and sexual diversity is part of our organizational fabric.
I believe this vision is a practical step to continue walking our historical path as a Quaker organization that was created as a sacrament of hope, unity, fellowship, and discovery. I see this as an opportunity to open ourselves both as individuals and as an institution, and to plant within us a seed of love, communion, justice, and dignity. I invite you to be part of this journey. I guarantee you that many ways will open as we enter into this new chapter of our shared history.