Thanks to all who attended the Annual Meeting this past Sunday, and for those of you who were not able to join us, I would like to make sure that I provide the community with some details and background on a major decision the Core Council announced at the meeting.
When our Founder and Senior Minister Rev. Mark Anthony Lord announced his departure in July, we communicated to the community that an Interim Spiritual Council was being assembled, in order to hold the high spiritual watch as well as to guide Sunday messages and schedule speakers. This we believed would provide continuity and stability to our Sunday programming. This decision and the move to provide dynamic speakers for our Sunday talks, proved to be something that was well received and appreciated by our community.
As a spiritual community, we are clear that our purpose is not Sunday-centric. We know that while we have great music, learning, community and fun on Sundays, we are a 24/7/365 organization. As such it is of great importance that we have a clear direction in the spiritual leadership of our community. The Core Council has been in conversation around the needs of spiritual leadership of our community for many months.
After much prayer, visioning, consideration and discussion, we came to the thoughtful conclusion that we need not look any further than our own Lola Wright to assume the position of Spiritual Director. For those of you who are not aware, Lola has spent her entire adult life in spiritual study ultimately becoming an ordained Minister of Religious Science through Emerson Theological Institute. Lola looks forward to continuing the format of a diverse body of speakers and furthering our intention of serving as a Spiritual Thought Leadership Center in Chicago and beyond.
Lola looks forward to continuing the format of a diverse body of speakers and furthering our intention of serving as a Spiritual Thought Leadership Center in Chicago and beyond.
Our unanimous decision was based on the following factors:
- Lola has done a wonderful job as Bodhi’s Executive Director over the past year and especially during and after Rev. Mark Anthony’s transition.
- Lola, with the Interim Spiritual Council, has guided our community lovingly and with purpose during this time of transition.
- Lola has shown that she knows our community members intimately and has strong relationships and community support to move into this new role.
- The current theme of Building the beLOVEd Community has been led by Lola and has been brilliantly executed.
- Lola’s calling to serve as a minister seems divinely appropriate that she is here, now, at Bodhi.
- Lola has completed her ministerial training and is licensed as a minister. She looks forward to soon being credentialed by Centers for Spiritual Living.
- Lola has worked effectively with the Core Council, the Spiritual Council, the Practitioners and Service Team leaders.
- Lola wants to build a legacy of service for Bodhi.
- Most importantly Lola loves this community and its complexities.
I asked members of the Core Council as well as the two members of the Interim Spiritual Council to provide me with a “letter of recommendation” for the appointment of Lola as Spiritual Director, and I would like to share one sentiment that I feel embodies the overall feeling of all responses I received:
“I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the anointing that Lola has on her life in the way that she leads Bodhi. It’s sometimes been a challenging road but I’ve observed Lola working tirelessly in pursuit of her passion for building the beloved community. Lola is exceptionally talented at what she does and leads from a place of love. As I search for purpose and passion in my own life, I appreciate the wonderful example I have of Lola living hers here at Bodhi.”
Lola’s position as Spiritual Director will begin on April 1, 2015 with her installation date to follow.
I know you will join me and the Core Council in joyously welcoming our own Reverend Lola Wright to the position of Spiritual Director, of Bodhi Spiritual Center.
President, Core Council