Dear friends and lovers of the Abode,
The past months have been a time of profound heartache for those of conscience and consciousness.
At a time where so many spirits and voices are being called to battle injustice and spread charity, physically gathering together – a basic human need – is itself a dangerous act. It seems cruelly ironic that in the Abode’s 45th anniversary year, we are unable to celebrate it with you in person, at the place that is the home of our hearts.
Our decision to close the Abode to the public for 2020 was necessitated by the need to ensure the health and safety of our community, staff, guests and visitors. Many restrictions on gatherings remain in effect and will for some time. Thankfully, we have the resources to get us to a successful 2021 season. The Abode will endure.
With so much unknown, we have opted to view this calamity as an opportunity. The “opportunity” is to address many projects that would not be possible with a campus full of people. We are now at work on them. One of the most critical, and ambitious, is rehabilitating our central courtyard. It is in desperate need of repair to install new drainage, grading and gathering areas to mitigate longstanding moisture problems that have grown worse in recent years, and make the area safer, more accessible and provide more gathering space.
We described our vision when we launched our 45th anniversary capital campaign, which was suspended in March. If the Abode is to serve as a sanctuary, embrace proper safety and expand our accessibility, this must be addressed. We will need your help.
For the ancient Sufis, the courtyard of any shrine or dargah was a meeting place of deep dialogue and relationships. These courtyards were sacred places of transformation intended for rest, reflection and contemplation, providing a sensory experience for the Ones seeking peace. The courtyard was the heart of these sacred places.
The Abode courtyard is such a heartfelt place of quietness, reflection and of deep dialogue. The Abode courtyard has been a gathering place for residents, visitors, teachers, students, friends, and nature lovers for more than a century and a half.
The revitalization of the courtyard can be done for a reasonable, amount, as these projects go. We have (attached) a drawing of the approved plan, and photos of the kind of work envisioned.
We are seeking to raise $75,000 to rehabilitate this heart of the Abode. We have already received a pledge of $20,000 to kick us off!
If we can generate just a few hundred donations, we can accomplish a great task that will serve a new generation (just 500 donations of $100 or 100 donations of $500 will get us nearly to our target.) It is so doable if we work together! Can we count on your help? Can you offer a financial pledge to our campaign? Will you share this message with others?
The Abode will emerge stronger and more focused on serving humanity in 2021. Service starts in the heart. You can help the heart of the Abode stronger and more able to serve.
With love and gratitude,
Al Bellenchia, Executive Director
Abode Board of Trustees
Aimee Brodeur Johnson
Sarfaraz Susan Dawdy
Nur Azad Mangold
Mahbub Blair Davis