A joint letter from Bill Redfield and Cynthia Bourgeault
A Solid Foundation and Growing: Our Third Annual Fundraising Campaign
A letter from Bill, Board Chairman
Dear Wisdom Friends,
I am excited to announce that Northeast Wisdom is turning an important corner in its life and work. Having relied on the generous funding from the Narthex Fund over our first four years, this funding has now come to an end. And while this brings a fresh challenge, it is coming at a time when we are clearer than ever before about our mission and our work. We will continue to support Cynthia’s work and her writing. This support will be financial, spiritual, and emotional. Additionally, we are also feeling strongly called to work to deepen and broaden the growing Wisdom community through both our innovative programming, retreats, and our website. We have heard the expressed needs of our scattered Wisdom community, and we are working to support the integration of Wisdom in our personal lives, in our circles of practice, and in our relationships with each other.
These first four years have allowed us to build a solid foundation for this organization. Our Board is empowered with fresh energy and new ideas, and our website has continued to be developed. In fact, the usage of the website has doubled this past year. We have added three new informative sections—“Seedlings,” “Ask Cynthia,” and “Breaking Ground.” Users have come from a total of 118 different countries around the world! And, besides supporting Cynthia and other emerging Wisdom leaders with financial grants, NEW has continued to provide subsidies and scholarships for those unable to pay for retreats and Ingatherings.
This past year the number of donors increased by 53%; we hope that this year our supporters’ generosity will continue and more people from our Wisdom network will want to join us in support of this work.
I had the great good fortune of meeting Cynthia 27 years ago and the gift of working more intensively with her over the past dozen or so years. Her presence and influence on my life are simply beyond measure. She has introduced me to an understanding and appreciation of life that have brought new form and dimension to my faith and have changed me from the inside out. Perhaps you could say something very similar. Won’t you join me in expressing your appreciation and gratitude with a manifestation of generosity? We need your support now more than ever,
A note from Cynthia
Dear Wisdom Friends,
I heartily concur with everything that Bill has shared with you here, and my heart sings with joy to see our amazing board, filled with new enthusiasm and new vision, step up to the plate and begin to collectively take on the living transmission of our Wisdom lineage.
So often organizations get stuck here; unable to exceed the wingspan of their founding teacher, they fall back into becoming “palace guard” and/or morticians to a teaching whose living flame has already gone out. It’s said that the greatest honor a student can give a teacher is to carry that teaching to an even higher realization and that’s exactly what I see happening around me in our Northeast Wisdom community right now. As former students emerge into powerful, distinctive teachers in their own right, and as the creativity and collegiality just keep on building, I feel myself massively supported as I let go of some of the day-to-day teaching and retreat rounds and focus my attention on a few more experimental projects close to my own heart (such as the Maine Ingathering, the Teilhard/Gurdjieff interface, the Conscious Circle of Humanity inquiry)—and of course the writing, and the ever-hopeful hermit time. I’ve had a fabulous year of writing, reflecting, and breaking ground on all these fronts, knowing that I am beautifully supported and accompanied by a living, growing community that truly has my back.
This year, more than ever, I hope you’ll step up to the plate and show your support for NEW by contributing as you can. And as a rather remarkable “Exhibit A” of the kind of creativity and collegiality I’ve been raving about here, this year we are delighted to offer our significant donors your own personally autographed copy of our first-ever “Cynthia Bourgeault” annual, entitled “Love is the Answer: What is the Question?” It’s a collection of my major blog posts, lectures, and other short writings and teachings for the 2016-17 calendar year, personally transcribed, edited and self-published by our NEW publishing collective, headed up by the amazing Laura Ruth. This collection is a one-of-a-kind creation—and pretty good indicator, I think, of the energy, creativity, and cross-pollination that we’ve all been experiencing here at NEW this year, as we watch ourselves truly “breaking ground.”
This new volume will be mailed in February to all of you who are able to contribute $150 or more to our annual fundraising campaign. We hope you’ll like it—and like US. We’re here to make Wisdom happen—joyfully, playfully, collectively. Please join us in the dance.