A Time for Transition at Kirkridge

A Time for Transition at Kirkridge

To Everything... Turn, Turn, Turn... A Time for Transition at Kirkridge

…we are all making the journey together … We are not alone; beyond the differences that separate us, we share one common humanity and thus belong to each other …”

Henri Nouwen

Dear Kirkridge Friends and Community,  

One winter’s night during a blizzard years ago, I was trying to find my way to Kirkridge for an interview to be the new director. Snow falling, unfamiliar roads, no cell phones, I had all but given up having driven into and out of every small surrounding town trying to find my way. Finally, in despair I decided to turn around and head down the hill once again. I pulled off the road into a lighted place, only to look up and see a brown sign with white letters humbly stating, KIRKRIDGE. 

Going back through my writing when I applied for this position, I realize once again, how deeply I felt called to be in this place and yearned to collaborate with a community that offered radical hospitality to all who found their way here. How impressed I was that, from the beginning, Kirkridge genuinely invited individuals to honor their inner spiritual journey while never ignoring the call to the challenges of the prophetic voice of justice. Little did I know that night, as I entered the parking lot, that in the coming weeks, I would say “yes” to becoming Kirkridge’s fourth executive director. 

My “yes” has lasted for seventeen years. My love, heart, and commitment for Kirkridge and who it declares it is in this world has grown only larger. I found home here, and I found home in myself here. The gifts that Kirkridge offers to each and every guest, visitor and pilgrim were here for me and for my family. 

I am so grateful for our journey together. This summer, after 17 years of ups and downs, highs and lows, celebrations and crises, I will be stepping down as Executive Director and into a new relationship with Kirkridge – one of elderhood, ambassador and cheerleader. I look forward to focusing my energy on honoring that past even as we emerge into our future by serving as a member of the faculty, continuing my writing and working with Kirkridge’s TIP program, (Together It’s Possible) dreaming of new avenues for our friends and family members living with intellectual disabilities. 

In this spirit, I am honored today to accompany the Board of Directors in announcing our search for a new, full-time Executive Director of Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center who will move into leadership in Summer 2022. We are seeking highly qualified candidates who will embrace our deep commitment to our mission, offer imaginative and energetic leadership and encourage us to live into our potential trusting that “Together we are Kirkridge.” 

I look forward to continuing to share this journey alongside you always believing that “ …we share one common humanity and thus belong to each other ….”

With abiding commitment and gratitude,

Jean Richardson

Beloved Kirkridge Community and Beyond:

It is with a full and grateful heart that I join Jean Richardson in announcing that she will be moving into a new supportive role at Kirkridge.   This transition lets Jean focus on the things she loves most and is truly masterful at doing. She will continue to hold us in new ways while opening the opportunity for new leadership to guide Kirkridge. Jean has helped build Kirkridge into the vibrant, growing community that it is now, and we are eternally grateful for her tremendous work and dedication!

The Board and Jean are excited to kick off our search for a new Executive Director today.  You will find a link to a job description here.  In the days to come, we will be reaching out widely to this community and beyond to seek enthusiastic and qualified candidates for what we believe will be a wonderful opportunity.

Please join us in finding a dynamic new leader to take us into the next phase of our journey, and most importantly, to serve you  and our world by offering a place for hope, compassion, justice and service that is accessible and transformative for all.

Diane Petteway

Chair of Kirkridge Board of Trustees

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