2016 Executive Board Report

2016 Peace Haven Annual Meeting

marcelleExecutive Board Report, by Marcelle Pearson, Board President

“Gratitude and love should abide in every heart each day of all the years.” This statement of Mary Baker Eddy’s from the Manual of The Mother Church (60:15-17) is felt at Peace Haven and we are so happy to share with you in both gratitude and love! What a joy to share another year of progress at Peace Haven–our growth and our opportunities for growth, as a facility of Christian Science nursing.

First on our list of gratitude, I am happy to officially introduce Leslie Gerber as the new Executive Director. She joined the Peace Haven team in June, with an easy and harmonious transition from Annie McCauley who moved to Utah with her husband, but remains on our board. Our daily appreciation for Leslie is deep, as is our gratitude for Annie’s leadership over the last four years. During this time Peace Haven grew from facing the prospect of closing down the facility due to lack of funding, a shortage of trained Christian Science nurses, and a badly decaying building, to a vital, bustling healing environment.

“Are we really grateful for the good already received?” (Science and Health, p. 3:22-23).This seemingly simple and straightforward question from Mrs. Eddy really digs down to a deeper understanding of gratitude that knows and understands we have all we need, every moment, in every form; gratitude that is complete, whole, acknowledging God’s perfection as present here and now.

If Peace Haven is going to continue as a facility moving forward, we know our current building is not sustainable. It should certainly reflect the high quality of the nursing and care that that goes on inside. Moving from “sense to Soul” is the entirety of the Christian Science nursing work, building included. It cannot represent age and decay. Peace Haven is NOW inhabiting the “place prepared.”

Good at Peace Haven is demonstrated and acknowledged every day. To retain a facility in St. Louis these are our opportunities:

  • The current Peace Haven facility is in need of full replacement within the next eight years. The cost of repairing or restoring is not a practical solution.
  • The cost of a new replacement facility will be $8-10 million. To meet our annual operational budget we need to raise one million dollars annually to supplement income from patients. This last year was the first time in four years we did not meet the $1 million goal. As most foundations grant money every other year, for consistency we need broader community support.

Peace Haven is our nursing service. The facility and the Christian Science nurses employed at Peace Haven are here for us 24/7 days per year. As one of the largest Christian Science communities in the world, the St. Louis-area Christian Scientists have the opportunity to ask ourselves:

  1. a) Do we want a Christian Science nursing facility in St. Louis?
  1. b) What will that facility look like in terms of how many it can serve (demand is steadily and rapidly increasing)?
  1. c) What will be the quality of service Peace Haven can deliver?

Most of our current budget is met by foundations. One of the questions foundations ask is, “what level of community support does your institution receive?” Whether for benevolence, operations maintenance and/or a capital campaign, this is how we are assessed by those foundations who can help us the most. Peace Haven must be able to show our community support.

This is an exciting adventure we can share together, expressing our dedication to the nursing by-law. The world deserves to see the proof of Christ’s message of love for all, manifested in spiritual healing. Julia Michael Johnston gave a talk entitled Church Building to Eighth Church in New York City in the mid-1900s: “… it is not the outlining by the human mind which builds a Christian Science church, but the human humility which neither obstructs the way with egotism, nor manages it with personal responsibility, but yields to the divine Mind at every point. When there is human humility, the divine ideas come quickly to flower and fruitage, nourished by the waters of omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence.”

What an inspiring thought to hold onto as we continue to move forward with gratitude and love for all that we have, trusting in God’s care, as stated in Exodus (23:20): “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”