You can make payments here for hospitality, School of Spiritual Direction, etc.
2013 Projects and Dreams
Below are a variety of things we’d love to see happen in 2013. Some are less glamorous than others, but they all contribute to the experience of those who stay at The Convent and to the work of Sustainable Faith.
If you’d like to give to one of the programs or projects below, simply go to our secure server and select “donation” in the drop-down menu. Select the amount and then at the bottom, under “additional comments,” specify what the gift is intended for. As items get funded, we’ll update the list. Gifts in amounts smaller than those listed here are also welcomed and very much appreciated!
Water Coolers for 2nd & 3rd Floors ($200 each / $400 total)
Right now guests come downstairs for water (unless they use the bathroom faucets). We’d love to have a water cooler for these two floors. Guests looking for more solitude could have filtered water right outside their doors and avoid coming all the way downstairs. It’s a small thing but a helpful thing.
Extra Set of Sheets for 7 Rooms ($350)
One extra set of sheets + pillowcases for each of the rooms would buy us so more time to do laundry after a group leaves and before our new guests arrive!
Two New Toilets ($250 each / $500 total)
Not a very “sexy” gift, of course, but where would we be without them!? We went with 2 eco-friendly toilets a few years back, but they’ve been a pain in the butt (pun intended!), requiring multiple repairs and apologies to guests.
Extra Washer & Dryer (approx. $500 each / $1,000 total)
We’ve been functioning w/ one washer and one dryer for the last 4 years; that slows things down considerably when washing and drying up to 9 sets of sheets and towels. Having two of each would be a great time-savings!
Commercial-Grade Coffee Maker ($1.6K)
Sounds like a lot, but we serve thousands of cups a year. Besides, coffee is the modern day equivalent of the footwashing in antquity, a courtesy sign of welcome. We’ve outgrown our current machine, an old refurbished Fetco that leaks a little. The one we’d like to get consumes less energy, has multiple temperature settings, can brew 2 different amounts, and can be set on a timer — a sweet deal for the early risers!
Two Energy-Efficient, Gas-Powered, Hot Water Heaters (approx. $1.6K w/ installation)
We have one aging and unreliable water heater. It has a small leak in the bottom, and you never know when it’s going to go out and need to be restarted. Makes for tense moments here and there when lots of guests are with us. We’d like to move toward two dedicate 60-gallon tanks, one for the 1st floor, the other for the 2nd & 3rd floor.
Private Half-Bath in 2nd Floor Guest Bedroom ($3K)
As many of you know, the bathrooms at the end of the hallway are shared. A private half-bath inside a room would be a great gift for those who stay longer with us and for married couples. Fortunately, when we put in the new 1st floor bathroom 3 years ago, we had the plumbing run up to the ceiling just below proposed half-bathroom, so it’s an easy plumbing job.
Creation of “Great Room” ($3.6K)
More frequently than before we’re hosting and training larger groups. To accommodate them better, we’d like to open the space between all three east-side rooms (dining room, middle room, living room). With this change 24-30 people could all be together in the same room! For those of you who know the area well, you may be thinking, “Oh my, won’t that ruin the look?” Dave’s answer: “Nope. I have a killer design and a way to section off the rooms to preserve intimacy for smaller groups.” (P.S. When the existing walls are taken out and the entire ceiling area is free and clear, we’re also going to put up acoustic drywall to make the 2nd floor quieter.)
Events & Training for Leaders:
Seed Money for “School of Urban Farming” (goal of $5K)
Robert and Erin Lockridge have done a remarkable job of tending the Convent garden and delivering fresh organic produce to our dinner table. What a gift to us and our guests! They’re also gifted teachers, so we’ve encouraged them to design a 1-year training program that draws young leaders into their work and gives them a vision for urban farming. We’re convinced this will be wildly successful, and it represents a dream we’ve had for Sustainable Faith to resource leaders who then resource other leaders! Your gift here would free them to focus more on developing this school..
Accelerated Training Program for Leaders in the School of Spiritual Direction ($6.4K)
The growth in the School of Spiritual Direction has been startling. We’re in 5 major cities now (Cincinnati, then Houston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Denver) and are considering 5 others (Oklahoma City, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix and Portland). But the number of cities we can be in is limited by the number of leaders we have in place to lead them! A limiting factor in expansion is, of course, having leaders ready to facilitate these training groups. So we’d like to launch a training group that’s specifically for leaders who intend to launch new cohorts. We’re proposing to fly in 4 quality leaders to Cincinnati from different parts of the U.S. and training them in the curriculum and our process. They would each commit to 4 training modules. We would subsidize their travel costs. If we assume $400 per trip per person, we’re at $6.4K for a fully underwritten program, and this gives us the potential of launching in 4 new cities in 2014.
Scholarships for School of Spiritual Direction ($1.8K per person)
We’ve always wanted to make training in spiritual direction as affordable as possible — some training programs run $3K or more! — and we’ve made it a point to scholarship individuals when the need is present, even if it means we take the hit. A gift of $1,800 will scholarship one individual completely!
Tri-State Pastor Sabbath Retreat ($10K)
For the last 9 years I (Dave) have had the great pleasure of serving Vineyard USA as staff member (spiritual director) for a remarkable 10-day retreat. These retreats are offered 2x each year around the country to pastors who are in burnout / crisis or to pastors who have worked without a significant break for several years. The feedback from those who attend is profoundly moving. We have the experience and expertise to host a tri-state retreat. If we can underwrite and do the first one on our own (a 7-day retreat for 5 couples), then we’re in a great position to receive grants for ongoing funding through groups like the Lily Foundation. Your gift here would provide a week of salary to 6 staff members, lodging for 5 couples, and food for 16 people.