From The President
Rev. Coy Johnston, May 2015
This letter has been difficult for me to write. As HGSA begins its first post-fire year, I want to share true thoughts on the past year. I and the Board send our thanks and gratitude to all the members and friends who have continued to send loving prayers, volunteerism and financial support during this time. You have kept us going through the disruption and hardship with our spirits battered but intact!
The firestorm that swept through the Grove last May was a two-edged sword. After all, no lives were lost and material things can be replaced. There was even joy in thinking of how HGSA would be made better! So, it made sense to focus on the upside of the tragedy – a chance to modernize our buildings and offerings to the public. But each and every one of us had to go through a grieving process for what was lost and couldn’t ever be replaced. The downside was grief and loss which needed time to overcome.
Losing the church, bookstore, office and most of the homes had the potential to bring our Spiritual Center to a halt. Many of the workers for the Grove were now homeless, scattered across North County. Each needed healing to deal with the loss of their personal lives. Those members and friends who didn’t live on-site were also in mourning because of the loss of the Spiritual Center that had stood for 118 years.
However, there were many who answered Spirit’s call to assist in the rebuilding process. Some were members and friends while others were helpers from the “outside” world. Each came and stayed for whatever period of time they had to spare, giving of their time and expertise. Some came to clear debris, others came to run a donation center, some were available for advice on a myriad of subjects, some assisted in getting what was needed immediately to run the Grove. Others used their computer skills and contacts to keep HGSA in the sight of groups and agencies that were mobilizing with assistance for food, clothing and housing. The needs were staggering – not only did we have no power but there were no computers or phones in the beginning months. Many sent financial donations to help us through the first months of disruption.
Another special group of individuals stepped up to serve on the Board of Directors – a difficult task as all records, forms, etc., had to be reconstructed. Some were in for the long haul, while others had a couple of months of important dedicated work to do. Selfless assistance indeed!!!
I would need more space than I have to list the names of those who stepped forward to help. Let me say to all who participated in any way that I have seen, heard of, and experienced your gift of service. Spirit has also been aware of your gifting!! We send love and blessings back to you hundreds of times over!
In the coming months we will be challenged anew as our journey enters the construction phase. Can we hold onto our hope and joy? My prayer is that we allow joy and gratitude in our hearts so that the “new” Grove energy is filled with the highest consciousness available as we continue to shed light on the interaction of Spirit with humanity.
Please watch for your opportunity to assist this regrowth. The Bible speaks of the many who are called, but it is the few who answer the call that make a difference. Do you treasure the Grove enough to be one who is choosing to make a difference?