Photo Barb Green

November 2018
As November wraps up, the staff at Naramata Centre are well occupied! Although outwardly the Centre may not look busy, lots is going on behind the scenes. Read on!  

Our Offices Have Moved!
Dennis Hixson in new Alberta Hall office        Photo: Charmaine Pearce
The Naramata Centre offices have moved from McLaren to Alberta Hall. The new offices are now centrally located in the heart of the Centre, making it easier for guests staying on site to interact with staff. All office activities, including registration for programs and accommodations, will take place in this location.

Enter through the main Alberta Hall doors to find our newly renovated reception office. If you are in the area, drop by for a coffee or tea and check out the space! 

This move was necessitated by the need to vacate McLaren for the winter (as was done the past few winters). McLaren is a very large building and expensive to heat through the winter months. To avoid the expense and major disruption of moving back and forth in spring and fall, the offices will remain in Alberta Hall for the foreseeable future.

Newly updated lounge in Alberta Hall.                                    Photo:Charmaine Pearce
Winter Stays at the Centre

               Photo: Barb Hatfield
If you are looking for a quiet personal retreat this winter, you are welcome to book accommodations in East Court or Orchard Court for a minimum of 3 nights and up to a maximum of three weeks. 

Or perhaps you would like to bring a group here for a yoga or meditation retreat? 

Costs are lower in the winter and, of course, Naramata is a nice place to visit in every season!

Email for details.    
Fall Hearts and Hands, Thanksgiving 

Naramata Centre is all cleaned up and ready for winter following our October Hearts and Hands volunteer event! The small but mighty force of  volunteers winterized the campground and buildings, prepared the site for winter and  transformed the gardens around Columbia Hall and Alberta Hall making them look brand new! Special thanks to Beth MacIntosh, Ken Stokes and Shirley, Rose Stapenhurst, Jean and John Leach, Scott and Sanda Kerford, Barb Gregg, Mary Baker.
Our Hearts and Hands volunteers gathered with local volunteers and board members to celebrate Thanksgiving on Sunday, October 7th. Thanks to Jim and Donna Simpson who provided the turkey and to Chris Grauer  for providing the ham.
The group gave thanks for the earth the Centre was built on, the volunteers who work tirelessly to support the Centre, our new Centre staff, Program Leaders, participants, families and friends who all contribute to our success.  
Evolve 2018
On the Remembrance Day weekend, Naramata Centre Program Manager Charmaine Pearce attended Evolve 2018, which hosted 180 youth, young adults and their leaders from BC, Alberta and as far afield as Ontario.. This group descended on Stillwood Camp at Cultus Lake, BC for a weekend of fun, creativity, community building and exploration.

Evolve 2018 at Stillwood Camp

The group discussed meaningful topics including: LGBTQ2 issues, sexism, racism, climate change, and forgiveness, facilitated by inspirational speakers including Peterson Toscano, Springwater Hester-Meawassige and Julio Cochoy. The group also participated in creative workshops, learning to knit, paint labyrinths, create prayer bracelets, and find their inner musician. They also had the opportunity to connect with nature and faith through the Amazing-Race-inspired Gratitude Challenge, meditative walks and nature hikes.

As a Cabin Leader for young women, Charmaine felt overwhelmed by the compassion, love, respect and inclusiveness shown by this group and all the youth at Evolve. She was grateful to drive the bus taking youth and youth ministers from the Okanagan to the camp, as it provided the opportunity to discuss ideas and future opportunities for young people at Naramata Centre.  Charmaine looks forward to the opportunity for the Centre to participate in Evolve again next year!
Chris Grauer - 50 Years at Naramata Centre
Chris Grauer  Photo: Charmaine Pearce

Chris Grauer has lived at Naramata Centre for 50 years! After completing high school, Chris attended UBC, but found it to be a lonely place. During the summer while working at a United Church camp, a lifeguard told him about Naramata Centre. He enrolled in Winter Session in 1968, felt a real connection to this sacred place and, as circumstances would have it, he never left!
Following Winter Session, Ivan Cumming (then the Centre's Executive Director), offered Chris a job. He worked on the grounds, did maintenance, and was trained in the kitchen by Mary Haughian. 

"In those days you did everything," Chris explains. After a number of years serving in various positions, Chris became the "head honcho" in charge of the kitchen, where he worked as head cook until 1994. Even after leaving this position, he often helped on site and could be found back in the kitchen washing dishes. If you were a regular at the Centre, you will probably remember Chris from this time.
When Chris gave up paid employment at the Centre, he subsequently became a very dedicated volunteer in Penticton, Summerland, Oliver and Naramata. He worked as a volunteer baker at the Seniors Retirement Centre in Penticton for 10 years until new ownership made that position unnecessary. These days he volunteers at Penticton Community Soupateria, a volunteer-based charitable organization that feeds people in need. Chris prepares soup six-days-a-month, and does the purchasing for the organization. He also cooks the turkeys for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for Soupateria.  

When not cooking, Chris volunteers at Critter Aid, an animal sanctuary in Summerland and at the Okanagan Gleaners in Oliver. Chris is also very proud to be a blood donor - 157 donations to date! In 2011, Chris was presented with the BC Community Achievement award by the Lieutenant Governor and Deputy Premier in Victoria. Chris says that life started again when he became a volunteer!
Quiet, unassuming and quintessentially humble, Chris serves the Naramata Centre community in a variety of ways. At the recent Naramata Harvest Supper (long-table dinner), he washed the dishes for the 200 participants.
He is an important member of the Centre's local volunteer group and an annual donor to the Centre and many other organizations. Chris is a long-term and very generous supporter of First United in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. His first exposure to this important work came when he was in Winter Session at the Centre and the participants all worked for a few days at First United serving people. 
Chris says, "It feels so good to help others. It is one of the secrets of life in a world where so many people need help. It has been a wonderful blessing to have lived and worked at Naramata Centre. This is a beautiful place and I love it here. I hope the Centre will always be here - even if is different from what it was in the past."
Thank you, Chris, for your generosity of spirit and your 50 years of service - both paid and unpaid - to Naramata Centre and the wider community!  
                       Photo: Jim Simpson
Donna Simpson
As she has done on numerous occasions, Donna provided meals and snacks for the Board on Friday evening and Saturday. The Board enjoyed her sweet-potato she pherd's pie and dessert, her muffins and breakfast food, home-made soup and sandwich fixings for lunch. And, of course, Donna's cookies are always a big hit with Board members! Thanks Donna!

Lori Megley Best, Tim & Karen Botsford
The Board also extends our gratitude to Lori, Tim and Karen for a wonderful dinner Saturday evening. Thanks to the Botsfords for hosting us in their beautiful home, which afforded Board members the bonus of a walk between the afternoon and evening meetings! The Board is grateful for your generosity and the delicious food!

In This Issue
Naramata Centre Ambassadors
Thanks to all who have offered to keep their congregations up to date on what is happening at the Centre. If you would like share Centre  news with your church, please email:

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The Naramata Centre Society |  Email:
PO Box 68  Naramata, V0H 1N0