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Coffee Contacts at Morley Library Basement; First Friday Club of Cleveland Luncheon

On Thursday morning, October 6th, we got up early to attend a "Coffee Contacts" that was supposed to take place at St. James Episcopal Church in Painesville but was moved to the basement of Morley Library directly across the street due to renovations going on at the church.

img_5090Pastor Vanessa Clark from St. James discussed how her congregation operates on the principles of "prayer and practice" meaning that they live what they preach as is evidenced by the many community programs that St. James is involved with.

We, ourselves, were eager to purchase tickets to the annual "Pork and Perogies" dinner coming up on October 22nd that we look forward to every year and Ms. Alice Fish, a key player in the annual event, was more that glad to sell them to us.

We also networked for a while and exchanged contact information with an officer from a lot hotel that employs a lot of people who told us that over the years there have been situations that concerned an employee's immigration status.

A funny moment occurred when Pastor Clark was discussing various techniques used to advance her ministry. Someone asked if God could be downloaded and Pastor Clark immediately replied that "God is available everywhere BUT we do have wi-fi!"

Needless to say, her response was met with laughter and applause.

At noon on Thursday, we went to the City Club for the First Friday Club of Cleveland luncheon wherein the speaker was Mr. Rick Krvanka, the Executive Director of the Jesuit Retreat House on State Road in Parma.

Mr. Krvanka talked about how the Retreat House, which has been in existence since 1898 and sits on 57 acres of beautiful land that makes one feel like he/she is in the country, has meant a lot to so many people over the years.

He also spoke about "themes" that we can follow that will help us establish a more harmonious and productive workplace environment and an all-around happier life.

Among these "themes" were understanding how saying "yes" to certain offers can change your life but in order to do so in a positive fashion a person has to think about how the offer, which may be unexciting in the short term, can lead to longterm fulfillment and peace. He gave as an example an offer that he received about joining the pastoral council on campus when he was a young engineering student. He said "yes" and it was the beginning of a long career.img_5093

He also talked about how a person who is happily living their faith can bring joy and inspiration to others. For instance, he once met a clerk at a store who went out of her way to be courteous and helpful to her customers (who were mostly very appreciative) because it was her way of sharing her love of God.

Other "themes" included how positive/appreciative inquiry can help bring people closer together and the power of forgiveness and gratitude.

We, ourselves, were grateful to have been able to share a table on this day with Sister Juanita Shealey who might have been a role model for the clerk that Mr. Krvanka talked about because she is always genuinely glad to see us and this really raises our spirits.

Also sharing our table was Mr. Bob Pearl who was there with his daughter, Ms. Janet Pearl. After we told them that we work for Margaret W. Wong and Associates, Mr. Pearl expressed interest and asked us some good questions about the history of immigration to the United States that we intend to research.

Another man who sat with us was Mr. Jim Keegan who is retired now and loves taking classes arranged by the Institute for Learning and Retirement at Baldwin Wallace University. Each of these classes meets for 55 minutes on 6 occasions and one of them was an ongoing discussion about immigration. Mr. Feegan told us that there were many diverse viewpoints on this topic but the teacher did a wonderful job promoting civil discourse which made the experience very rewarding.

Yesterday Mr. Keegan went to a meeting of class that was devoted to exploring all facets of diabetes. He paused for a moment and then said thoughtfully, "I think I learning more from this class than I have learned from doctors."


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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