Over 80 Providence Villagers cultivate community
On Saturday, February 8, over 80 community members gathered together to be part of the unfolding Providence Village story. Providence Village executive director Ruth Gruer shared how the village came to be conceived, how partners were working together, and how people from all walks of life are welcome and engaging in making the dream come true.
Providence Village will be a common home to a collection of organizations working together to offer services to the most vulnerable members of our community.
To that end, the second Providence Village Community Conversation featured Hospice Kingston. Hospice Kingston board chair Allen Prowse presented their plans to break ground at Providence Village this spring.
Following Allen’s presentation a few questions were received and answered.
Then, the community building unfolded. Participants were invited to find the two people they knew the least and to form small groups of three. Each round of connecting with two strangers was guided by a question like: What intention do you hold that compelled you to be here today; what do you believe is possible if we work together; and what would you like to offer, if anything, to making these possibilities come to life?
Participants then shared with one another what they believed was possible and committed their visions to writing. A sense of carrying on the legacy of the Sisters of Providence, of building a peace-filled and caring community, successfully building Hospice’s new home, bringing hope to others, together and in common cause arose in the room and pervades the collection of participants’ written-word responses.
Hospice staff and volunteers were invited to share what they would like, want, or need from the community to make their next steps successful. Their requests included the sharing of information, volunteers, fundraising, and inviting others to participate.
In response, 54 participants made written offers to the success of Providence Village and Hospice Kingston. These included prayers, time to volunteer as a hospice worker, healing arts, grief counselling, to fundraise, direct financial support, facilitation skills, to join future Community Conversations and invite others, and to share the story, to name a few.
While there was much common ground, there was also diversity. Both were welcomed and reflected upon during the gathering. There was a strong sense of respect, of honouring each other, and working together present in the room.
To view a Flickr photo album from the day, click here.
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Thank you for this record of a memorable February morning that gave me renewed energy and a vision of a path forward that I can take in company with others.