We’re entering that season so often called “the most wonderful time of the year.” At least that’s what it’s called in the all-time favorite Christmas melody first recorded by Andy Williams back in 1963. However, as the years have passed by, it seems we may have graduated from most wonderful to busiest and most stressful time of the year!
Being the executive director and sole counselor of a small nonprofit organization, the season of “busy and stressful” can actually last twelve months of the year, not simply the six or so weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas! And because of this fact, some very generous friends and supporters of the ministry made it possible for me to get away in October to refresh, refocus, and rest. I had the awesome privilege of spending three days nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at Glen Eyrie Conference Center. The retreat opportunity is called Innovo (v: to be made new) and its focus is based on the words of Christ found in the gospel of Mark: “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (6:31).
While there, I was able to spend most of my time in solitude, either hiking around the incredible grounds, sitting by a stream watching the big horn sheep graze, or relaxing in the lodge with a book. And while there was no set schedule or agenda to follow, retreat facilitator Jeff Morrison offered participants three guiding principles for our time there: Keep it Simple. Slow Down. Adore God.
Since returning home, I’ve been meditating on these three ideas because here at RPM we seem to have entered a turbo-charged season of busy. (See the reverse page for the incredible things God is doing!) However, I’ve also been pondering how our culture needs to intentionally live by these principles in the coming month, or we’ll miss—as they say—the “reason for the Season.” If we are not careful, we will once again find ourselves in frenzy, racing from event to event, buying gifts that we can’t afford, organizing, cleaning and cooking, and much more.
Before the season officially sets in this year, may I make a suggestion? First, keep it simple. Focus more on traditions, family, and friends, and less on presents, parties, and perfectly planned meals. Second, slow down. (By the way, if you happen to live in Greensboro, you might agree that this principle could surely improve spirits at Friendly Shopping Center! It never quite feels very friendly to me during the holidays! J) But seriously, you can learn to slow down by recognizing your limitations and knowing when to say no. Meditate on the true meaning of this most wonderful time of year. Become intentional about responding to Christ’s call to take some quiet time away with Him and find rest. Finally, make every moment an opportunity to adore God. Leave the burden of busyness at the feet of Christ, and with the angels sing loudly: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:14)
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
from Cindy and the RPM Board of Directors
In the July/August newsletter, I talked about being tired as I balanced many roles and responsibilities within this organization. God heard our prayers and has brought support and reinforcement through some very talented individuals who have joined our team!
NEW BOARD MEMBER: Susan B. Smith
Susan is an HR Business Partner with AVAYA, Inc., a corporate human resource business. She is a dedicated professional with strong leadership skills and 25+ years experience in human resources, program and quality management, and strategic planning. She holds a BA in Sociology from Meredith College, and recently completed her MA in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Susan has a heart for counseling women into the joyful promise of God’s healing love. She is currently pursuing state licensure in NC. Susan is active at Green Street Baptist Church and volunteers at the Pregnancy Care Center. Susan is married and has three adult children.
NEW GRANTS MANAGER: Cheryl Angel
Cheryl Angel has joined our staff on a contract basis as our Development/Grants Manager. She has more than 20 years management and marketing experience in a variety of national organizations. Recently she has worked with nonprofits in the areas of development, event planning, and project management. Cheryl holds a BS in Nursing and an MBA. She is active at First Baptist Church Greensboro and as a community volunteer. Her goal for RPM is to organize the grants application process, research and write new grants, and meet the budget goals for funding set by the Board of Directors.
WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING…
“I love how it feels like a safe and comfortable place, and that I am getting counseling that is Christ-centered. It is allowing my faith in Christ to grow and I absolutely love that. I’m so thankful that God has allowed me to get the help I need from such a wonderful person like Cindy.” –19-year-old client
“Thank you for listening to me, and for affirming that my thoughts and feelings were valid. Your consideration alone helped to affirm me as a person, and it is appreciated.” –32-year-old client
GOALS FOR GROWTH
As 2009 comes to a close, so does our fifth year of operation. Milestones were reached this year, but our goals and vision continue – it’s time to step up to the next level! And we need your help to do so! First and foremost, our goal is to be able to serve a greater number of women in the community. As I’ve previously communicated, our dream is to make Restoration Place Ministries a destination for women—a beautiful and inviting place where women come to meet with one of multiple counselors (either for group or individual therapy sessions), who focus on their various needs…a place where their hearts can be healed and their lives restored. We realize this could be several years down the road, but we want to thank you for making the journey with us this far! We are so excited about the future and all that God has in store for us!!
For 2010, our goals are to:
- expand our office space
- hire at least one additional counselor so that no client referral is turned away (Cindy is currently over capacity!)
- allow Cindy to transition the majority of her time into the role of executive director in order to lead our goals of growth, yet still maintain a small number of clients
- continue to grow our financial support through individual donors, grants, and fundraising
We understand it is a very difficult time in our economy, but that means even more people are suffering and in need of affordable counseling and care. Would you prayerfully consider contributing to the mission of Restoration Place with a year-end gift or as a 2010 partner? Even the smallest financial gift makes a huge impact on the work we are doing!
To make a tax-deductible contribution to RPM, please mail your check and completed pledge card in the provided envelope. In addition, we would greatly appreciate you completing the section of the pledge card regarding newsletter delivery and return to us as soon as possible. We are committed to the efficient use of all resources!
RESTORATION RUNWAY UPDATE
We’d love to share just a quick update with you about our first annual fundraising event, Restoration Runway: Dignity by Design. Our volunteer teams are making great progress on planning the event to be held March 18, 2010, at the Greensboro Country Club! We have been working diligently with area merchants to secure fashions, models, decorations, raffle prizes, and media coverage. In addition, we have had two volunteer event coordinators join our forces to build on the work that has already been accomplished and to implement a final plan of action….all to ensure that we produce a top-notch event for women this spring!
Retailers (supplying fashions for the runway event):
A Pea in A Pod
Monkee’s of Irving Park
Consigning Women’s Boutique
Off ‘n Running
Encore Consignment Boutique
Great Outdoor Provision
Though still in the process of meeting with potential sponsors, raffle donors, and vendors, we’re pleased to announce partnership with the following:
Dr. Ed Martinez, DDS
Mrs. Sally A. Roberts
Premier Commercial Bank
Ms. Susan E. Mondello
Carolina Network Inc.
Bank of NC
Dooney & Bourke
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Maxie B’s Bakery & Dessert Café
Proximity Hotel/Print Works Bistro
The Shoe Market
Silver Gallery International
Sorella Day Spa
…and more great raffles to come!!
Vendors (to showcase products/services at the event)
Janes on the Run Women’s Running Network
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Still You Fashions
Watermark Interior Designs
…and more great vendors to come!!
We would also like to thank Greensboro Country Club, Allied Audio/Visual, and Phipps Photography for their generous contributions and help!