The Lunch & Learn on 1.20.12 was an assignment from a Strategic Planning Session. In late October and early November, the 6 Stones Board spent eighteen hours working together, then many more hours, refining and reviewing.
The work put into this not only helped the Board implement the new vision statement, but also helped to refine the mission statement and values statement. The core of the mission statement is still to build a coalition across this community to meet needs. Hence, the luncheon, to share with our partner and friends what we’ve learned and to dialogue about what our future might look like?
After Strategic Planning and reviewing our short but explosive history, the Board decided to focus on four Strategic Directions. Each Direction has many components and action items. The Lunch and Learn was to share those and to begin moving in those directions.
The first direction, Transform our Community.
Now this is not to say that things are bad, or negative, although there is plenty of negative or distressing news all around us, across our nation and around the world. But, the sense is that the transformation is more about dealing with where we are, not how bad it may or may not be. We all hear the phrase, the “new norm.” What is the new norm? We’re not sure if anyone knows what the new norm is, or will be? But, for our community, we are getting a glimpse of what that looks like. We’ll talk more about that in our next post, but who would have thought that our School District would now have the majority of its students on free or reduced lunch? Or, that we would even have to mention the words “homeless and student” in the same breath.
We also realize that when you do read the news, the “new norm” is all across the Globe.  Governments all over the world, Washington, and for us Austin, are trying to figure out what that is and how to address it. We pray for them and their leadership, it is a massive situation. But, we also believe, that we should be doing our part! Even in tough times, there has been so many good things happening in our community over the last three years… Maybe, just maybe, we can all work together in this collaboration and create a grass roots movement that not only helps our community, but those around us, or across the state, or maybe, across the nation. If we attack this thing from both ends top down, and bottom up, maybe we can not accept the new norm, but create what we want the new norm to be?
Maybe…we can be a catalyst of hope.
Please take a look at this letter that we received from your efforts with the Community Powered Revitalization Fall Blitz in October. I know it will bless you, as it has blessed us.
Before we move on to the next Direction, we would love to hear your thoughts, comments, or encouragement about what the “new norm” might be…if we together Transform our Community.


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