A New Year’s Message From The Abode Board
Greetings and Happy New Year to the Abode Community – near and far!
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support throughout this past year and beyond. We are in deep gratitude for the resonance that continues to be felt by so many lovers of the Abode.
While we have been meeting and holding programs mainly via Zoom and our beautiful Abode has been largely closed to the public, we have taken this opportunity to work diligently as a Board to enhance the property, its infrastructure, and to begin to re-vision how we can evolve to a spiritually based organizational structure and retreat center that will be sustainable in the years to come.
To this aim, we wanted to update you on our progress and make a few exciting announcements…
First and foremost, please join us in welcoming The Abode’s new Executive Director Kevin Carlon to our team. Kevin has served in key management positions at the Kripalu Center, Ruth Eckerd Hall Performing Arts Center and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. He has had experience working with and leading organizations from startup to the facilitation of major improvements, as well as providing critical oversight to their vision, daily operations, programming, growth and maintenance.
Working in conjunction with an outside HR firm, an extensive search was conducted by members of the Abode Board and Inayatiyya management along with our past Executive Director. The results of this search yielded qualified candidates both from within and outside the area. Beyond excelling with his vast managerial experience and track record working in hospitality-oriented organizations, Kevin demonstrated a deep respect for our spiritual heritage, mission and the greater community we have built over many years: He confirmed in all of our conversations the importance of maintaining the Abode’s roots and sacred spaces, while building a center that will be self-sustaining and prosperous.
Kevin arrives at an opportune time as the Board and Management team plan for how best to reopen and position the Abode for the future. As we focus on strengthening our spiritual core, we look forward to working as a team to create a robust vision that will support our growth and long-term sustainability. Please take a moment to send Kevin your well wishes… firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional exciting news… Phase II of the new Courtyard is all but completed!
While the world felt shut down over the past two years, the Abode Management took the time to engage in a series of enhancement and improvements to bolster its outdoor space. This included extensive infrastructure updates to reinforce the land and create better drainage mitigation, as well as to support the design and building of the new Abode courtyard.
The first two phases of the courtyard project provide a center gathering space that was long desired by many in our community. It connects all of the buildings surrounding it with additional lighting and heated stone pathways, as well as provides wheelchair access to the first floor of the meditation hall, dining area and access driveway. Included are some “Before and After” photos for your viewing.
Courtyard Phase I and II Photos
Phase III is scheduled to begin this Spring 2022. We will address the herb garden drainage issues and begin its reconstruction and will make some additions to the newly created upper courtyard area.
When reflecting on my love of the Abode and all of the work that has been accomplished here on this beautiful land, one thing I know with certainty is that I always feel better and recharged when I am here. Based on conversations I have had with many others over the years, I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
Although many in our greater community haven’t been able to gather in person at the Abode in a while, we are excited about its future. We are able to restructure in a way that was not previously achievable: we are taking the time to sharpen and strengthen our mission and infuse our organization with a renewed sense of purpose and stability.
I continue to find myself in awe of the resilience of our community to not only rebound and remain strong during challenging times but also to reshape and reform, adapt and rebuild and create new horizons and pathways.
In the words of our beloved Pir Vilayat, “The future is not there waiting for us, we create it by the power of imagination.” Through our collective imagination, coupled with love, care and meaningful action, we can truly turn our potential into a lasting reality that will benefit many Sufis and spiritual seekers alike for generations to come.
With Much Love,
Mahbub Blair Davis
Abode Board, Chair