by Bill Sutton, Sacred Fire Community Executive Director

I’m writing once again to ask for your support in helping the Sacred Fire Community organization bring some of its key leaders to the Leadership Training this February. Our initial fundraising was very helpful, and now we are only $2000 shy of the funds we need. I’d like to say a bit more about what this training has to do with you — with all of us.

constructionWhy is this important?
In recent meetings with Grandfather, he referred to himself as the “Divine Architect” and to us as the “contractors” and “laborers.” The structure being created with his guidance — the Community, the Foundation, the Blue Deer Center, and other components — are meant to serve as a vital resource for our people for many years to come.

In group endeavors, the success of the project depends on having a good team — talented, willing workers and clear, empathetic leaders. No matter how skilled the workers, if the leadership is bad, the project and the group spirit will falter.

We have work to do — big work. And although we may have some degree of leadership aptitude and experience, most of us need to have our understanding and horizons opened — and quickly — so we can implement the plans being provided by our architect while He is still around to guide us.

Leadership and Community
A community organization carries a unique set of challenges. Deepening the training of the community’s key leaders is particularly important since their roles are to build community and actualize a common vision by providing guidance, inspiration and trusted leadership to the entire community, as well as to the staff that work for them.

leadershipAs someone who has held and trained others to hold positions of leadership in another community organization, I cannot emphasize how critical this is for the success and well-being of the community. The tone and vision held by those in key leadership positions permeates the organization and colors the tapestry of our community culture. Likewise, little mistakes or failing to see critical aspects of our roles as leaders can cause painful misunderstandings and rifts within the community.

Our Appeal
Most of us are paying our own way to attend this training, and to meet our realities, we’ve simplified our expectations of the number of people we’ll be able to help bring to the training. However, we need your help to bring Annie King, Sherry Boatright, and Jeff Bartlett to the training. They have all been tapped by Grandfather to hold key roles within the community organization, leading key departments — Firekeeping, Lifeways, and Communications. Over the past years, they have exhibited incredible devotion in the large amounts of time, energy, and iyari they have provided our community and the responsibilities they hold on our behalf.

The cost for each participant will be about $1100, and including Jeff’s airfare from the UK, I’m trying to raise a total of $4500. The appeal we made at the beginning of the year brought in $750, augmenting our ability to help directly. With the SFC pitching in $2500 — almost half of our goal — we are only $2000 shy of the funds we need.

If you are inspired and able to help, you can make a donation by check, credit card or PayPal account through the SFC web site.

We offer you our heartfelt thanks for your consideration and assistance, and I look forward to being and working with you in the future!

Bill Sutton
Executive Director
Sacred Fire Community