Yes — the Women’s Center will be extending its regular hours. We’re always open Tuesday – Friday, 12:30-2:00 p.m., except when events require our staff to be elsewhere, like Winn Center or the basement of Schlegel Hall.
But starting yesterday we’ll be extending our Tuesday hours later into the afternoon most weeks — generally until 4:00 p.m. — with some variability due to prior commitments on the part of our first active-duty volunteer:
Rev. Deborah Fortel, a long-time supporter of the Women’s Center, recently interim pastor at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in New Albany, currently working on a D.Min. with a focus on congregations in transition, and someone who has a few hours a week to spare doing work in the Women’s Center! Deborah will mostly be working on projects related to fund-raising (an ongoing activity here — see our donation page). By doing that work in the Center, she can also make the space accessible during those hours for others who would like to drop in, stay awhile, chat, study, talk, . . .
Frankly, we’re delighted!
The Women’s Center mission statement says it’s a place for gathering, and it is. During the approximately 18 months since the Center moved from its first location in the lower level of Nelson Hall to its new, spacious location [WE LOVE IT!] at 100 White Hall, we’ve seen gatherings ranging from impromptu chats, planning meetings (lots of those), only slightly more formal lunch hour presentations and dialogue — with and without images (see posts below, e.g.), breakfasts, open houses, lunches (concluding celebrations of the 3rd Annual Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture events and the Wedding of Justice and Love), and dinners, batik workshops, pricing parties and closing celebrations for the Fall Arts and Crafts Sale, . . . OK, we think readers will get the idea!
Still, we’ve continued to want . . . well, more. The Nelson Hall space used to be accessible whenever Nelson Hall was open, usually unattended, but always able to receive a visitor. Not so our White Hall space [much as WE LOVE IT!]. We don’t believe “faith” is a synonym for “wishful thinking in the wake of irresponsibility.”
With that in mind, the security issues with the multi-room space, that includes a kitchen with working electrical appliances, closets with doors that lock, etc., simply don’t permit us to leave the space open and unattended.
So we’re glad Deborah can help us open the Center a bit longer. And, we are hopeful that Deborah will be the first of more volunteers here at the Women’s Center, who will help us open the Center longer still. (Indeed, Sonja Williams has already said she, too, would like to spend a few hours in the Center, and we are in conversation with others . . .)
Together, we will be able to make the space even more of a gathering place, and as a gathering place, a place of community, and community’s manifold blessings: conversation, conversion, conviviality, — even, we hope, at least from time to time, those glimpses of the possibilities for God’s realm of justice and peace that remind us of what all this gathering is for.
Please stop by the Women’s Center on a Tuesday afternoon and welcome Deborah Fortel!
[Source for the image: an entry in Lifelong Learning @ LPTS, the blog created by Director of Lifelong Learning and Advanced Degrees and Professor of Ministry David R. Sawyer (who is also Deborah Fortel’s husband), which features the text of one of Deborah’s sermons — definitely worth reading!]