Dear Circlewood community,
When we think about the changes and challenges our world is facing, it is hard not to wonder (and worry about) what the next day, the next year, or the next decade will bring. Although it is tempting to offer my own predictions, I find it more helpful to focus on the present, particularly what we must do now to reimagine a way of life and faith that is more in tune with the earth, more focused on helping those in need, and more interested in serving the common good. Focused persistence is the pathway to a better future – “Staying the Course.” This is the approach we take at Circlewood, and we’re grateful to share how our work has gone this year, as well as what’s next in our mission to “accelerate the greening of faith.”
Here are a few highlights from 2023:
Our media work continues to connect people around the globe. Our Earthkeepers podcast is finishing its fourth season and has reached listeners in 100+ countries. Our online journal, The Ecological Disciple, now has 300+ subscribers; articles have been translated into 35 different languages.
We began to focus on ecological leadership. We discovered this year that we are uniquely positioned to help people develop the skills of ecological leadership, which entails learning from nature to help guide communities toward a more regenerative and sustainable way of life. We launched our first ecological leadership cohort and had multiple opportunities to share these lessons with young adults, church groups, and the wider public.
Circlewood Village continues to move forward. Though the development process is slow, we celebrated the completion of our well, the building of new trails through our forest, and hosting the largest number of work groups to date.
We continued to attract and welcome partners. We began to collaborate with Seattle University on joint programming, entered a three-year partnership with Bethany Community Church, a multi-site congregation based in Seattle. We also saw our individual donor community (The Circlewood Stand) expand and welcomed new organizational donors. Thank you!
As we celebrate these accomplishments with you, we also look ahead to 2024. Take a look at several opportunities we hope to pursue on the rest of this page.
Key opportunities in the year ahead...
We hope to expand our media work. We are working to increase the diversity and quality of writing on The Ecological Disciple by bringing in new writers, and to begin publishing thematic selections of our work. We also hope to inform and challenge our podcast listeners by increasing the number of non-Western guests and hosts, as well as helping produce a new podcast focused on young adults and their perspectives on the future.
We hope to offer new educational programming. We are planning ecological leadership workshops and classes alongside our learning cohorts. We seek to bring greater depth to these educational programs by adding expert teachers in ecology, theology, and leadership.
We hope to finish our first construction project. We are lining up permits and resources to finish the first gathering space for Circlewood Village. This will allow us to host more groups in the forest and to launch on-site learning programs.
We hope to expand our base of support. We are working on developing regional hubs of support in Bellingham, Camano Island, and the greater Seattle area. We are also working to serve members of The Circlewood Stand in new ways, investing in the people who invest in Circlewood.
Our mission is clear and we are ready for what’s next –
help us “stay the course” with a year-end gift.
Your gift of $1000, $500, $250, or $100 will add to this momentum and propel the mission forward. You can contribute here or by sending a check to the address on the bottom of this page. All gifts are tax deductible.
Thank you again for your partnership and support. Feel free to reach out to me with thoughts and questions at james.amadon @circlewood.online. I look forward to “Staying the Course” with you in the year ahead!
Executive Director, Circlewood