[RivCompanions] update

Barbi Click bgclick at gmail.com
Mon Jul 14 15:26:07 UTC 2014

We can be there from a Friday eve to a Sunday morning...I only have so many
Sunday Hot Lunch program I can miss. However, with enough time, I might be
able to schedule someone else in my absence.

*Barbi Click*
*www.linkedin.com/in/barbiclick/* <http://www.linkedin.com/in/barbiclick/>
<http://feathersandfaith.blogspot.com> *
*http://facebook.com/bgclick <http://facebook.com/bgclick>*

    *“For surely I know the plans I have for you,… plans for your welfare
and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon
me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you
will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, …
and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and
all the places where I have driven you, … and I will bring you back to the
place from which I sent you into exile." *Jeremiah 29:11-14

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 9:17 AM, Claudia & Joe Porter <
porter45 at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> We will be away on vacation on the October 4 date.  Claudia and Joe
> On Jul 14, 2014, at 8:08 AM, Virginia Brown <mothervirginiadb at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> Dear Companions,
> Since I first wrote about the issue involving marijuana at the
> Motherhouse, several of you have had questions and/or offered comments, and
> it seems that it would now be well to provide a little more information,
> including something which has just come to light, so that we’ll all have
> the same information, and be in a position to make better sense of what has
> happened, and to make decisions about the future.
> In my first letter I was somewhat reticent, wanting, I suppose, to avoid
> any unnecessary damage to Susie’s reputation, and to protect those who had
> come forward with information as well—especially since valued friendships
> are involved.  Also, I didn’t and don’t want to state as factual matters
> which are disputed.  (Nor is there any particular need to “get to the
> bottom of it”; decisions were not made on the basis of disputed material.)
> Of particular concern is that growing as well as using marijuana was
> involved, although this is an area in which Susie’s assertions differ from
> those of an eyewitness who reports being taken to see plants in two
> specific locations, and being given to understand that there were others in
> various locations around the property.  This, of course, is a more
> serious charge legally.  Susie acknowledges only one plant, which was
> Abby’s.  We have no reason to suspect that there was ever any selling by
> anyone, and the Council of Advice required that all marijuana plants be
> destroyed immediately—which we believe was done.
> Sadder to me, I learned yesterday from a friend of the Community who has
> been here for several retreats that at the beginning of November she and a
> friend of hers, otherwise unknown to the Community, were offered marijuana
> at the Motherhouse.  She says that she accepted—partly out of friendship
> for Susie; she spoke with regret and contrition, for having done it in the
> first place and for not having mentioned it.  She said that she felt that
> it “besmirched holy ground.”  Her friend, who also works in the legal
> field, didn’t participate, but apparently looked on with shock and
> disapproval; it’s fortunate for all involved that she didn’t deem it her
> duty to report the goings-on to the civil authorities.    As you know, a
> similar incident of sharing pot with retreatants (one a friend, one
> otherwise unknown) occurred on July 4.
> One or two of you have wondered whether there might be some compromise
> possible.   In a way, this *is* a compromise; an initial reaction to the
> disclosures was, “Call the sheriff!”  I want you also to know that we’re
> making efforts to be generous in helping Susie and Abby—and Ed—get settled
> in a new situation, financially and in encouraging her to take whatever
> furnishings, supplies, groceries, etc., she may need or want.   I’ve
> thought about whether there might be some way of avoiding the need for
> Susie and Abby to move, and I have to say that anything which would address
> the situation or be even remotely acceptable to the Council of Advice
> would, I’m reasonably sure, be completely unacceptable to Susie.
> Finally, several members of the Community (and I’ve discovered several
> others who are not members of Rivendell) have commented on observations or
> suggestions, often from quite some time ago, that all was not well—smelling
> marijuana, being concerned about levels of alcohol consumption, more
> general concerns about Susie’s functioning.  In retrospect, I feel as
> though I might have known what was going on; it was just so far off my
> “radar,” my expectations.  I bear some considerable responsibility.  I
> think we all wanted to do the best for Susie, and no doubt to avoid useless
> conflict.  But maybe one thing we can learn from this—me included—is that
> we really do have some responsibility for and to one another, and if we see
> something amiss, it’s often better to address it—certainly if it’s a matter
> of legal and/or moral wrong-doing.  Heaven knows, we’ve had all too many
> examples of religious institutions failing to face problems, or covering
> them up, and it just doesn’t turn out well.  Maybe we could have headed
> off this situation before it grew to its present proportions if we’d been
> more proactively our sister’s keeper.
> Yesterday, in conversation with our members in Kansas City, David and
> Lisa, we recalled that sentence in the agreement regarding sexual conduct
> which applies much more widely, that members of Rivendell are expected to
> maintain at least the level of ethical behavior expected of parish clergy.
> We are, in a special sense, representative persons; and we don’t go around
> “besmirching the holy.”
> Clearly, there will be significant issues to deal with regarding the
> future direction of the Community and the Motherhouse in particular:  Can
> we keep it?  If so, should we?  In what direction should we now move?  Does
> this event, which can without exaggeration be described as tragic, open a
> possibility for “repristinization” of the Rivendell Community?  (Thanks
> to Cathy for reminding me of how fond I am of this word and concept!)
> Therefore, I propose that we plan to meet, as many of us as can, in a
> special general chapter, perhaps in late September or early October, giving
> the dust a chance to settle and see where we are.  I think we will need
> actually to be together rather than just to exchange emails.  I realize
> that not everyone will be able to come, most likely, but I hope as many as
> can will do so.  Suggestions for dates?  Is a weekend best for most
> people?  What about the weekend of October 4, Yom Kippur/St. Francis of
> Assisi?
> Much love,
> Virginia
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