Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In 2018, the Board of Directors for ARC Retreat Community began a journey of transition, sabbatical and discernment for the organization by asking powerful questions:
What can ARC do to continue to be a sacred place of welcome, hospitality, community and renewal? From the various gatherings and listening sessions that have taken place, other questions are surfacing:
What else could happen with ARC?As ideas are presented the Board of Directors are actively engaging in a process to vet the viability of each. Examples of ideas that are currently in process are the concept of co-housing, a 10-month community/scholar in residence program, a membership cooperative model, expand and enrich partnerships with organizations with common values, internships, and others.
What does ARC being on sabbatical mean?While on sabbatical the ARC Lodge and Kitchen are not open for service as usual from May 5, 2019 - Sept 8, 2019. This means that no group or individual reservations are being accepted for the Lodge unless prior arrangements were made and approved by the Board of Directors. Reservations (without meal service) for the Hermitage, Cottage and Apartment (two-bedrooms) continue to be honored throughout the sabbatical. Prices have been adjusted to reflect no meals will be served. During this time the Board, friends of ARC, and interested others will be gathering to consider possibilities for a stable funding model; a staffing model that is healthy, life-giving and sustainable; and to offer other ideas and support.
What is happening to the ARC residential community? The residential community model, those short and long-term residents that lived “in community” at ARC strengthening their own contemplative practice while being in service to ARC guests, has been suspended. During this transition process many expressed that the existing model did not support the life-giving health of the individuals that ARC’s mission was designed to provide. Other models of intentional community that are in alignment with the ARC mission may be examined in this transition process.
The ARC volunteer community continues to thrive offering physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and financial support to the transition process. Additional opportunities are available.
What options are currently being considered for ARC? The Board of Directors has set Labor Day Weekend as the target for a decision to be made about either the shutdown of ARC as a retreat community or the re-emergence of ARC or ARC 2.0. In order for the decision to be made in the affirmative, the Board is looking at four indicators:
1. People stepping forward.ARC needs ambassadors to spread the word, to tell ARC’s story. It needs ambassadors to serve as volunteers. It needs ambassadors to multiply the resources through fundraising, partnership and reservations. It needs people with skills, talents and gifts to serve on one or more committee to address the strategic needs of the organization.
2. Strategic planning.ARC is not sustainable in its current state. ARC 2.0 needs a strategic plan that has clear support from the broad array of ARC supporters. A plan that adequately addresses the grounds and buildings; stable and sustainable funding, how ARC is staffed and how staff are supported; and renewed programing aligned with the ARC mission.
3. Funding. In the past ARC has not utilized a comprehensive financing strategy that produces financial stability and is sustainable over time. This has resulted in ARC continually being in some level of financial instability which placed undue pressure on the leadership, staff, intentional community, volunteers, and Board. To address this the ARC Boardis developing a new model for stable and sustainable financing. While this is under development the Board is proposing an interim target to be achieved by Sept 8, 2019. ARC needs $300,000: $50,000 cash and $250,000 in pledges. This fund raising project will begin in the coming weeks.
4. Staffing/Leadership. ARC needs a sustainable personnel plan that employs skilled professionals supported by talented, gifted and skilled volunteers. The intentional community, which has been a key part of driving the ARC mission, has been suspended during this sabbatical. Much work needs to be done to determine whether there is a model of intentional community that provides the ARC radical hospitality and at the same time provides a healthy and beneficial experience. Suzanne Begin has been hired to live onsite as our full time Interim Leader working with the Board and volunteers to manage ARC’s future.
How can I help? There are many ways for YOU to partner with ARC to help the Board of Directors in their discernment process. Here are a few:
· Ask additional questions
· Become an ARC Ambassador
· Commit to serve on the board or one of the four committees (Place, Philanthropy, Personnel, Program)
· Donate time talent and/or treasure