Of course, every day of our lives is an opportunity to reflect, and very worthy opportunity for such reflection came recently to Cheryl and me this summer, when we visited that travel destination hailed as the “Final Frontier” – Alaska. We simply couldn’t help but marvel, throughout our trip, at the sheer splendor and often overwhelming choices of things to see and do in our country’s 49th state.
Now that you’re asking yourself “Where is Don going with this?” consider just one of those great marvels of Alaska - the massive glaciers to be seen, whether on board ship traveling through Glacier Bay, or by journeying on land throughout a state. I kept thinking, “How do these seemingly never-moving rivers of ice and snow manage to have such a huge impact on the landscape, carving and shaping it in so dramatic a fashion?” I found out that there’s a lot to be learned about glaciers (try Googling it and you’ll find out), though in a nutshell, I learned that the impact of glaciers on the geology of our planet stems from their power, persistence and combined effort. The forces of ice, snow and rocky materials work together to continually produce astounding results.
Now, let’s adapt the concept of perseverance and combined effort to our daily lives, and for the moment, in the context of our synagogue community. We are very fortunate at Temple Beth Ami, to have a wide range and excellent qualify of religious services, weekly educational programs, special events and benefits that we can provide to the Santa Clarita community such as Family Promise. These all are made possible because of the combined participation of our temple staff and many volunteers, working together to make them happen. Nonstop, persistent, dedicated effort - just like those awe-inspiring glaciers, but with an all-important difference - these volunteers choose to so.
Let’s look at one at just one of these endeavors at TBA - the fabulous work being done to prepare the religious school facility for the coming fall classes. Jennifer Twitchell, Kim Boothby-Fogel and many other volunteers, not just from Temple Beth Ami but also from the LDS Church in Santa Clarita, put in countless hours to repaint the classroom building, install brand new flooring, and make needed repairs and fix-ups. Take a walk through the school facilities if you haven’t already to check out that work that’s been done. I certainly was impressed, and I’m sure you will be, too.
This is a striking example, and yet one of many efforts at TBA that are accomplished through participation and effort. And this is the arena in which your contribution is so important to us. Even if hands-on “DIY” projects aren’t your forte, no doubt you have experience and ideas that you contribute to make Temple Beth Ami an even better place to belong.
So, how do you find about these opportunities to participate? One of these best ways to do so is by becoming a member of our Temple Board. In additional, all TBA members are welcome and encouraged to attend our Board meetings. It’s the perfect way to find out about the opportunities for your contribution, as well as to find out if Board membership is for you. Even between our Board meetings, you can learn about what endeavors might make most sense for you, by talking to our Board members. We’d love to hear from you!
Wish you and yours the very best for a meaningful, prosperous and productive New Year!