Statement from the Lakeside Chautauqua Board and Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Board Chairs

Posted on June 12, 2020

Lakeside Chautauqua’s Mission: To enrich the quality of life for all people, to foster traditional Christian values and nurture relationships through opportunities for renewal and growth... spiritually, intellectually, culturally, and physically... while preserving Lakeside's heritage.

Dear Lakesiders,

We are committed to Lakeside’s mission to enrich the quality of life for all people . We sincerely desire to be part of creating a future that is diverse, inclusive and equitable and that values the worth of all humans, living healthy in peace and harmony, with kindness and without fear.

Just as we have common responsibilities to those around us in fighting the effects of the virus pandemic, we also must visibly share our commitment to standing up against racism and violence towards the black community.

It is not lost on us that this statement represents fine aspirations, but action and change need a much larger commitment. Read James 2:14-17:

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,' and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."

So, what is it that we can do as Chautauquans, to put feet to our prayers and aspirations?

  1. Rededicate ourselves to exhibiting Christian compassion and love, guided by the word of God as found in both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
  2. Every day be kind and show respect and empathy to each other without regard to skin color, ethnic or religious background, economic class, resident or visitor.
  3. Take part in the Lakeside sponsored discussions and workshops planned this summer and next summer on racism, social justice, kindness and compassion.
  4. Participate in the activities that come about as a result of these discussions. Information will be forthcoming throughout the summer and next season.
  5. Pray for all these things and especially for those harmed by racism.

We have great hope and expectations for this summer and future to be one of strengthening our roots as a caring, kind and compassionate Chautauqua community. Please join us in thoughtful prayer as we ask what difference we can make, day by day, face to face and with those among our own circles of interaction.

Thank you for your support and commitment to the mission of Lakeside and the future of this great organization.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46)

Sincerely,

Kurt Geisheimer
Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors, Chair

Tom Jones
Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Board of Directors, Chair