Friends and donors of Wheat Ridge Ministries joined Rick Herman for the President’s Circle Retreat at the Kona Kai Resort and Spa in San Diego, California, in April. This annual gathering brings together individuals from across the country who have made significant contributions to our seeding ministry. This year’s retreat featured special presentations and interactions with several grantees, devotions and community building, sharing of future plans for the ministry of Wheat Ridge and much more!
President Rick Herman (right) catches up with Mel Kieschnick, long-time friend and donor of Wheat Ridge Ministries.
Dr. William Enright, Director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, delivered the keynote presentation, "Building a Cathedral for Your Soul," which helped donors to name and align their spiritual values with their philanthropic priorities.
Rebecca Brandt, co-executive director of A Ban Against Neglect, introduced the attendees to the work her organization is doing with young mothers in Ghana, Africa, and how, with a Wheat Ridge grant they're helping these young women learn a trade, make a living and care for their child.
Rev. Karen LaFollette Marohn, senior pastor at St. Peter's By the Sea Lutheran Church in San Diego, and a 2011 Wheat Ridge Sabbatical Grant Recipient, served as the devotional leader throughout the retreat.
Robin Strickler updated the group on the work being accomplished at the Rwamagana Lutheran School in Rwanda and how a Wheat Ridge grant is helping to close the gap between them being an average school and an excellent school.
Kay Siebert, director of the Christ Cares Clinic in Phoenix, AZ shared how the clinic, with the assistance of a Wheat Ridge grant, is providing well care and maintenance of chronic health conditions to pediatric and adult patient populations, as well as onsite counseling.
The group worshiped on Sunday at First Lutheran Church in San Diego, home of TACO (The Third Avenue Charitable Organization), which operates free medical and dental clinics to all homeless and working poor in San Diego. In 2006, with the assistance of a Wheat Ridge grant, TACO developed "Simon's Walk," an end-of-life support program for homeless persons who are terminally ill. Pictured here is Rick Herman with TACO executive director, Jim Lovell.
Marla Lichtsinn (left), parish nurse at St. John's Lutheran Church, Orange, CA and Margaret Simonsen, parish nurse at Community Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA shared a presentation on congregation health ministry and why this work is vital to the church.