From: Robert Paolinelli, Member. Bd. of Directors
Through: Rev. Richard Grange
Subject: A Country Retreat
On two separate occasions, Sensei Kawahatsu and I discussed the possibility of the church having a piece of land in the country. Most recently, this same topic came up with Sensei Grange; and I agreed to present this topic at the next Board meeting under new business. However, I am now working the swing shift and must address you through this letter.
As I understand, the church mortgage will be paid off in two or so years; in seven years the mortgage on the apartments will be paid off. Recently this Board voted to take money from our savings and invest it in a mutual fund. Ultimately, when the land we own in the city is paid off there will be some profit from rents, after we have paid for upkeep and insurance, naturally. Moreover, we will have some profit from the money we are going to invest in the mutual fund. We, then, are in a position to embark on the purchase of property in the country for future generations to use for spiritual and recreational purposes.
The point of having a piece of property in the country is principally a place of spiritual retreat and for Faith Training Seminars and other group activities of our church. Presently, we have no permanent place for FTS; every year a place must be found; this is a time-consuming process; but an essential one; this could be eliminated if we had our own land.
An important part of one's spiritual development is being able to withdraw to a special place for meditation and contemplation; in short, a spiritual retreat. To be able to go to the country and commune with nature and one's deeper self will most certainly have a a profound affect on one's spiritual attitude and one's general outlook on life--all for the better.
In the stress-filled, hectic world of the city a place of spiritual refuge and resuscitation is almost a necessity for those on the spiritual path. Moreover, a country retreat would be a good location for youth group gatherings, even a summer camp for our children. Such a place could also be where we could plant a soft fruit orchard; perhaps even some nut trees and enjoy the harvest from such an orchard.
Such a place could also be used by groups not connected to our church. Were we to have such a facility which could accommodate groups, we could rent out such a facility for retreats, seminars or symposia. Naturally, there would be a profit in such an enterprise.
However, the primary purpose of a Konko church country retreat is spiritual--first and foremost. Should there be some financial profit by renting such a facility to others, then that money could help defray the cost of buying such a facility.
It is for us to prepare for future generations and leave them something of lasting value, that is: a place, removed from the distractions of the city; a place where one can commune with nature, perhaps plant and cultivate; but, most of all, to become quiet, reflective and contemplative, thereby opening our spiritual eyes and hearts.
Member of the Board