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Merit Makers

Every week, there are seen and unseen heroes that help keep Kadampa Center running.
Here are just a few!

It is such a delight to see Geshe-la’s smiling face come through the door, so a special thanks goes out this week to the person in charge of getting him to the Center on time. Karen Mastroianni heads up a team of volunteers that have the privilege of driving our precious teachers to and from the teachings. Not only does Karen kindly and gracefully deal with her team, but she also steps in very often and sometimes very last minute, as needs arise. So thanks so much to Karen for her generosity, patience, and grace under pressure.

Our Holiday Potluck was a smashing success thanks to all of you! We were blown away by your participation. So many folks brought food, so many stayed to enjoy the company of their friends and many new friends were made. The food was fantastic and the pleasure of having the center filled with good cheer was truly wonderful.
  Thanks so much to Timothy Powell for arriving early, leaving late and being so quick to come up with  solutions  for the best problem a potluck could have– lots of food and guests!
  Thanks also to all those who jumped in to arrange more seating and to those who stayed around to clean up after all the fun and to everyone who helped where they saw a need.

As our beloved teacher Geshe Gelek often reminds us, this center belongs to each of us. It can be easy to overlook that our precious center periodically requires its windows cleaned , its floors swept and its toilets scoured, but a kind team chose to spend their Saturday morning scrubbing our cherished center clean with Jill Marie leading the way. Due to their hard work, we can focus on the precious teachings in a clean and comfortable environment.
                           Thank you so much to all the cleaning helpers:
           David and Elise Stevel, Louise Miller, Lee Clark and Suzy Boehm.

What does Dharma have to do with dinner? Quite a bit, as it turns out! Every first Friday, and the occasional Saturday, a group of folks meets in our lobby to explore mindfulness in relation to food, and how to make this mundane daily activity an opportunity for mindfulness and practice.
   Many thanks to Denise Flora for having the inspiration and generosity to create and offer Food for Thought.

   The Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour touched so many of us so deeply. Thanks very much to Ven. Norbu and Amanda Karg for bringing the Relics here and to Sarah Brooks and Ven. Choekyi for organizing and staying on top of things. Thanks to our venerable nuns for offering us blessings with the Relics, all the sponsors, all the volunteers, all the visitors, and all those who have worked to make this tour a reality and bring this experience of the Buddha's love and blessings to our doorstep.
   How amazingly fortunate we all are!

Thanks to all who attended the Gratitude Party and rejoiced in the selfless service offered by many to our wonderful community. A big thanks to Jill Marie and Denise Flora for providing the lovely music. We also are very grateful for Sandy, Dan and Hannah DeMaio Newton, Miranda Benson, and Kunsang Choephel for coming in early to do setup. And then a number of the party goers helped with the cleanup - so kind of all of them!

Potluck lunches provide a great way for us to get together casually and get acquainted. Thanks so much to Tim Powell, our Potluck
Coordinator,  and Sandi Mitchell, our sponsor, for making our latest potluck a great success. Thanks also to Clarissa, Kim, Joey, Becca, and everyone who brought food, jumped in to help, and shared in the day’s festivities.

                                                   Merit Makers
A team of folks helped make the lovely new prayer books in the gompa a  reality - Dan Brooks for selling earlier editions in the bookstore to raise initial funds; Jim and Jackie Scott for putting stickers of Kadampa Center prayers inside; Royden Saah for writing a Merit Box grant that helped buy more    copies; and Tim Powell for putting them all out in the gompa. Also a big thanks to Sandi Mitchell for her generosity and time making so many of the white books we have used for many years, and that are now being given for free (while supplies last) to students to use to benefit their home practice. What an amazing gift for all of us!

Our Kadampa Bookstore serves the community in so many ways! Not only does it provide valuable resources for study and practice, it also provides financial support to our Center. The store now has a new management team that combines expertise in books and retail items with business and administrative experience. Look for great things from our bookstore team,
                      Jim and Cherie Sutorus, Dan Brooks and Kolleen Mitchell!

     We are blessed with three dedicated nuns who serve our community in so many ways, so quietly. Among them, Ven. Lhamo, Ven. Khando and Ven. Choekyi support Geshe-la during teachings, lead prayers and pujas, organize volunteers, keep our prayer list, lead classes, serve on various committees, and benefit us in innumerable ways.
                               Thank you, Lhamo-la, Khando-la and Choekyi-la! 

The Robert Thurman event proved to be a hugely successful and entertaining evening  thanks in no small part to all the fantastic volunteers who helped out in so many ways, including  selling tickets, greeting a multitude of guests, setting up, cleaning up, selling books, planning and filling in all the gaps in between to create a seamlessly produced presentation. Thanks to the Inspiring Generosity Committee for their tireless efforts in bringing us this highly entertaining , beneficial, and very well attended program.
     May all this merit bring many more wonderful teachers like Robert Thurman our way. 

       Keeping up with weeds in our gardens is a great purification practice -- and just as when we purify spiritually, the result is quite beautiful!  Big thanks to Kim Goll and Megan Myers for sprucing up the flower bed by the classroom building. 
Thank you, Kim and Megan!

       On our Fabric and Foam Fun day last spring, a small group cut foam and fabric and stitched up a bunch of new zabutons (floor cushions) for the Light of the Path retreat.
      Big thanks to Ven. Khando, Barb Morwessel, Jill Marie, Joanna Smith and Suzy Boehm for their service!

When a new family walks in the door, our Children's Program General Assistants are warm and welcoming, and when classes begin, they move right into supporting the program in whatever aspect is necessary, solving a new challenge each week. Thank you to Jessica Kasinoff, Heather Green, Dorothy Robson, and Linda Saah.

Thank you all!

Thank you to our 5th-8th grade teachers Chantel Smith and Nicole Mercer for their creativity and insight. These two work hard keeping class content fresh and interesting as these young minds develop in leaps and bounds.
Thank you, Chantel and Nicole!

Thank you to volunteers for the 2nd-4th grade class.
Collaboration and communication among Kara Weilding,
Melanie Statnick, Keith Ferreira, Christy Batts, and Aimee
Pattison has kept our largest class running with engaging
and creative content.  
Thank you, all!

       Thank you to all the preschool volunteers who not only care for our littlest ones, but who also clean up the room when they leave. It's rare that our curious toddlers do not dump out every container and play with every toy. These parents have preschoolers themselves and are often the last to leave, managing their "helpers" and keeping the room together. Big thanks to Jim Green, Ian and Ann Worthington, Vivian Margarino-Gomez,Jennifer Sanford-Johnson, Vincent Batts, Shannon Blackwood, Carrie LeChevallier and Dorothy Robson.
Thank you!

Good graphic design catches the eye and expresses the spirit of a project or organization. Guillermo Haas-Thompson skillfully applies his designer's eye to our website and some of our projects, such as Inside Happiness. Thank you, Gi!
We knit ourselves together into a community by caring for each other, and one way we do that is through our prayer list. These names are read at the Center when we do our dedications, and many people also receive the list by email to include in their home prayers. Many thanks to Venerable Lhamo for maintaining the list. Thank you, Lhamo-la!
There's so much to learn when we first come to Kadampa Center, from where to find the bathrooms to understanding all the items on the altar. Royden Saah helps newcomers get acquainted with this and more every month at our Newcomer Orientation sessions. Thank you, Royden!

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