Meher Spiritual Center Newsletter – Summer 2018
“God is everywhere and does everything. God is within us and knows everything. God is without us and sees everything.
God is beyond us and IS everything. God alone IS”.
—Meher Baba (God Speaks, p. 298)
Dear Center Family and Friends,
Loving greetings to you from Meher Center’s staff and board of directors. We are taking the opportunity in this, the 2018 summer newsletter, to give you a preview of upcoming events at the Center, and to provide updates on special projects that have been in the works for a while.
First, however, we want to announce the retirement in June of longtime and steadfast Meher Center staff member—and valiant leader of the Cabin crew—Arthur Kimball. Arthur has worked at the Center for 25 years, serving Meher Baba in the daily tasks of keeping the Center clean and in readiness for each visitor who has had the good fortune to arrive on the doorstep of His Home in the West. The daily dose of Arthur’s wit and wisdom will be missed by his coworkers, but we will all still see him. He’s been in Myrtle Beach for so long he really has nowhere else to go! (And, his wife, Ellen, is here, still working for the Center!!)
Artist in Residence
We are happy to announce that Jim Meyer will be the artist-in-residence at Meher Center during the week of September 2–9. Jim is a renowned singer-songwriter and artist in the Meher Baba world and has been for decades. A little more about Jim: For nearly 50 years, Jim Meyer has been involved in singing and recording music dedicated to Meher Baba and has performed at numerous Baba functions worldwide. In December 1968, Meher Baba designated Jim as one of His “chief young lover workers” in the USA and England. [from promo for the Northeast Gathering, held in the United States in June 2014.] Please check the Center website under programs-special events for additional details that may be available during the month of August.
Presentation by Ward Parks
We are also happy to announce the return of Ward Parks, well-known and popular Meher Baba scholar. Ward will be presenting a seminar at Meher Center over the weekend of October 12–14, with 90-minute sessions each morning and afternoon. The topic this year will be: “An Early Dispensation: Meher Baba’s Message to Humanity During the First Flowering of Meherabad in the 1920s.” If you stay on the Center that weekend, you are welcome to attend. If you live nearby and wish to participate, please contact the Dilruba office at 843-272-8793 to reserve your space! Check the Center website under programs–special events for more details.
Young Adult Sahavas
At present, we are in the process of planning a Young Adult Sahavas at Meher Center for the weekend of November 2–4, with activities planned from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. This special gathering will be open to young adults from ages 23–43, and will be focused on celebrating Meher Baba’s presence in our lives. Please make your reservations as soon as possible, as we expect the Center to fill up quickly. Information about the sahavas program will be up on the Center’s website under programs–special events by the beginning of September.
2019 Amartithi Program
The Center is also planning a special two-day event in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Amartithi. As you know, Amartithi is the day Meher Baba dropped His physical body at Meherazad, India, January 31, 1969, “to live eternally in the hearts of His lovers.” We will be sending out additional information later in the year.
You may remember that, earlier this year, the Center engaged a forestry consultant to assess the overall health of our woods, focusing primarily on the development and execution of a plan to reduce the risk of fire. We are pleased to report that this assessment is now complete. Not surprisingly, the report confirmed what we already knew: that the possibility of a forest fire at the Center is at a critical level, and given optimal conditions the forest and the Center could burn very rapidly.
The consultant is now developing a scope of project for this fire mitigation work, which the board feels is “mission critical” to the Center’s existence and must be completed as quickly as possible. We will keep you informed as we move forward.
As a result of the vandalism in the Barn, the board also engaged a highly regarded professional security firm that conducted a detailed and exhaustive security review of the Center. A team comprised of Center staff, board members, and volunteers is in the process of completing a final proposal, including recommendations for both short-term and long-term security measures based on this expert advice. We expect that the security recommendation proposal will be in the board’s hands by the beginning of fall.
In the meantime, as safety is a primary focus for the board and staff, security improvements have already begun at the Center. Security measures along the Center’s Highway 17 boundary are in place, and the securing of the entire perimeter of the Center with an eight-foot fence is nearly complete. Other measures have also been finished or are underway.
The primary goal of these security plans is to make sure guests and staff are safe from outside intrusion by trespassers on the Center. Myrtle Beach (and the world) has changed dramatically since the time Meher Baba was here, and since the 60s, 70s, and 80s when so many came here for the first time. Today, the dangers of encroachment are very real, and we must be vigilant in safeguarding the Center. At the same time, in all that we do to provide safety, we are ever mindful to maintain the interior of the Center with the same pristine and inviting atmosphere as when Beloved Baba was here.
While we want to keep you aware of these concerns, we also want to assure you that we are working quickly to address both of these key areas.
Two Notes from the Gateway:
To receive future Center mailings by email instead of paper, email us at [email protected] to let us know.
Time again for the annual lottery for holiday reservations. If you would like reservations any time from December 14, 2018, to January 4, 2019, send the enclosed form (Holiday Reservations Form) to the Gateway by post, fax, or email. An explanation of the process is on the form. If you want to be included in the lottery drawing, we must receive your form by Friday, September 14!!
We look forward to seeing you one day soon at Meher Center. Until then . . .
In Meher Baba’s love and service,
From the Presiding Officer of the Board:
As this season’s newsletter suggests, there is a great deal of activity at the Center, while every effort is made to preserve Baba’s home as a place where each individual can come and have a private retreat with their Divine Beloved, Meher Baba.
We are also in the process of addressing a wide range of needs that are essential to the Center’s preservation, many of which have been emerging over many years, such as the practical work related to environmental management and conservation. While some of the needs emanate from within the Center, some, such as security measures, have developed as the city of Myrtle Beach has continued to grow and impact the retreat atmosphere.
During this past year, the board has been exploring how to best fulfill these needs, what funding will be required, and what new opportunities for supporting the Center may arise. As the board continues its exploration and study, we will be sharing with you more about these opportunities and how we all can help, in various ways, in the work of the Center.
As Baba said in “My Dear Workers” (The 1962 East-West Gathering, pp. 4–9), “My work is your opportunity.” What a gift He has given in providing us all with this sublime and incomparable Center, which He has assured us He never leaves. At the same time, this gift is an opportunity to express our love for Him, through deepening our efforts to make the Center available to humanity as a place of pilgrimage for all time.
Daniel Stone, for the Meher Center Board of Directors
Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Adi Blum, Bruce Felknor, Linda Hansen, Meherwan Irani, Annie Lawn, Andy Lesnik, Annie Hall, Jo Taylor, and Michael Tych
If you would like to stop receiving paper mailings or if you have any other questions regarding communications from the Meher Center, email us at [email protected] to let us know.
To view previous Meher Center Newsletters click the following links: