Strength in Community- By Jamie Gaines

In the past year, this column has covered many topics from resiliency and authenticity, to accountability and group sufficiency.  A common thread among these articles is a sense of the future that we as a community aspire to.  On February 4th and 5th the ERUEV Board had their annual retreat to begin to formalize, and the vision of our community into focus.

 According to James Kouze, and Barry Posner in their book The leadership Challenge: How to Keep Getting Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations, “visions are about possibilities, about desired futures.  They’re ideals, standards of excellence.  As such they’re expressions of optimism and hope.” It is this desire for a common goal that keeps us moving forward, creating the change we wish to see in our community and in our world.

In an effort to focus this vision, which will not only be a guide for our efforts, it will also allow others to better understand who we are as a community.  To create our vision the Board took the weekend retreat to reflect and collaborate to come up with a set of values that will be the foundation of our community.  

The following is a draft list of those values, which the Board is currently working on refining and defining in an effort to focus our energy which will allow us to achieve our goals: Nurturing Community, Nurturing Empathy, Inspiring Education, Living Simply, Practicing Wellness, Being Earth, and Striving for a Culture of Interdependence.  If you have any ideas about what these values mean to you, email them to

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