by Vicki Oakes
What a delightful lunch today! I was invited to speak at the Ortonville Study Club – all about MNbump. I was very excited to see that all but one of the members had heard about MNbump – one even noted that they currently have a call out for a new Pastor and that they had referred those inquiring on this position to the MNbump.com website for information about the area.
The presentation centered on MNbump’s history (originated as a Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley project through a grant by the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development partnerships & the University of Minnesota Tourism Center’s grant to Big Stone Area Growth – the Countywide economic development group) and then summarized how this initiative is also assisting with our regional recruitment work based on Ben Winchester’s “Brain Gain” report (University of Minnesota) with details noted on the first page of the handout (Handout, PDF) and community connections/development. I can talk at length and with great enthusiasm on this topic – so their questions helped to keep me focused!
We also came up with a couple of ways to all work together on MNbump – Kathy Randall takes wonderful pictures while biking in Big Stone County (I know because we are friends on Facebook) – like most people, she keeps her settings private on her posts. She will be making some of those photo posts on Facebook public so that I can share them on MNbump! Another great outcome, is that the Study Club members are from a number of different Churches in town and they’d like to get together to talk about how they can create their own Google Calendars so that their Church activities will be able to be merged with the MNbump’s Community Calendar.
Gayle Mittelstaedt noted that my picture was hanging in the entry (with all those that have been confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church) – thankfully she did not specify which year-section that I could be found in (but to note, the photo is in color!)
I was so impressed with the Study Club’s initial reading which they all read together after starting the meeting that I just have to share (and I think it would be a wonderful piece to read before any and all meetings!): Keep us, oh God, from pettiness; Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed. Let us be done with fault-finding, and leave off self-seeking. May we put away all pretenses, and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice. May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous. Make us to grow calm, serene, and gentle. Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight-forward, and unafraid. Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences; That in the big things in life we are one. And may we strive to touch and to know the great common heart of us all; and O Lord God, let us not forget to be kind.
Their Mission Statement: To provide sociability, enlightenment, and pleasure for the members by means of the study of literature, art, travel, problems of health and government as well as other subjects of current interest to the group.
The Ortonville Study Club meets at Zion Lutheran Church and is catered by Crazy Apron Catering (lunch was awesome – in case you were wondering – turns out I was wearing some of the caramel topping from the the apple dumpling dessert during my presentation but they were kind enough not to point it out.)
Life is Good, here on the MNbump!