2021 End of Year Update
Dear Circlewood community,
Greetings! I hope this finds you healthy and enjoying the beginning of Advent, a season of watching and waiting for hope to burst into the world. While we always need seasons like this, it feels like we are in a unique time; we are watching much of what has seemed to hold our world together come apart - declining religious participation, political and social polarization, and the steady unraveling of Earth’s dynamic systems that support the beautiful, diverse, and interconnected planet we call home. We are waiting for signs of hope to emerge that help weave this web back together. For people of faith, it is a time to remember that God has already begun this work in Jesus Christ, it is a time to watch and wait, and a time to rise to the challenge when opportunities come before us to join God in the work of healing and renewal.
I believe Circlewood offers such an opportunity, and I’m excited to report that despite the challenges of the last year, our work has continued to move forward. Here are a few highlights:
As we celebrate these accomplishments with you, we also look ahead to 2022. Take a look at several opportunities we hope to pursue:
A generous donor has given a Challenge Grant of $75,000, inviting you to rise to the challenge and help move Circlewood forward.
“I believe Circlewood is poised to make a real difference, and I’m committed to helping make that happen through my financial support. Will you join me, and rise to this challenge?”
-Challenge Grant Donor
Will you consider a year-end gift as an investment in these opportunities? Your gift of $1000, $500, $250, or $100 will add to this momentum and propel the mission forward. All gifts are tax deductible.
• We expanded our creative media work. The Earthkeepers podcast has been downloaded over 13,000 times and reached people in 60 countries. To complement the podcast we created The Ecological Disciple, which publishes original writing twice a week focused on helping readers “learn to follow Jesus from the ground up.”
• We established key educational partnerships. To accelerate the transitions we need to bring hope and healing to church, culture, and creation, we expanded Dr. Forrest Inslee’s role to Associate Director in charge of developing a robust educational program. An important aspect of his work is the formation of partnerships with like-minded educational institutions and programs. One such partner, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, has chosen Circlewood to be a collaborative partner "exploring educational programming opportunities that focus on the integration of theology and ecology." We are excited about helping people grow through these partnerships.
• We took our design of Circlewood Village to the next level. In addition to thinning our 40-acre forest on Camano Island to promote its long-term health, we added world-class designers and engineers to the creative team that is designing Circlewood Village. In July, we were accepted as an official project of The Living Building Challenge, the world most rigorous green building standard.
• We would like to add a third weekly column to The Ecological Disciple focused on practical earthkeeping steps people can take in their lives and communities. We also want to add video production to enhance our media and communications work.
• We plan on releasing two online courses focusing on ecological discipleship and practical earthkeeping, hosting several “Signs of Hope” webinars, and designing more lengthy programs and curriculum with our educational partners.
• Finally, we will continue to move ahead with Circlewood Village, installing key infrastructure and preparing for the first phase of construction.
Thank you again for your partnership and support. Feel free to reach out to me with thoughts and questions at james.amadon @circlewood.online, and join me in thanking God for the progress we have made and in “Rising to the Challenge” for the year ahead!
Executive Director, Circlewood