President Shirley Lashmett started the meeting, with a prayer. New member Chuck Seven led us in the pledge. Shirley introduced tow guests today, Jay and Joan Shery from the Culver City Exchange Club. Several visitors from Ukraine were introduced, as well as Cory and Michelle from the American Legion,
Shirley noted that installation of officers is August 29 at Gulliver’s. Time: 6pm. Our “summer party” will be at George and Gina Lesley’s beach on next Friday, the 18th of August, starting at 5:30 pm. Parking is tight, so please carpool or Uber in.
George Lesley: Our speaker today is the Rev. Cindy Evans Voorhees, Pastor of the Newport Beach St. James Episcopal Church. She is searching the intersection between faith and technology. She graduated from Oregon State in Fine Arts, she is a licensed general contractor since 1990. She has represented several major firms in design and construction, several Fortune 500 companies. She started her own company, Voorhees Design Inc. which has designed over 250 facilities in the course of 25 years. She also worked in Africa, where she was involved in two nonprofit companies. She recently traveled to. Ukraine and will share her experiences.
Rev. Cindy: Good afternoon. It all started with a banner, and suddenly, Ukrainians started coming to my church on Sunday mornings. They shared their concerns about their country. They asked me to come to
My interpreter encouraged me strongly to stop by Caux, Switzerland, first, because this is where many escaped Ukrainians live. The photo shows ten, one of whom was helpful in offering how to use my time.
I took their advice, but the airlines lost my luggage and I had to buy a new outfit for my visit there, as seen in the photo on the far right. We stopped at an airport in Poland, and it was sobering and refreshing to see this mammoth U.S. plane. Arriving in Kyiv, I saw much beauty together with bombed out Russian tanks. Kyiv is a beautiful and technological city…I just love the culture. I had a Swiss friend take me around to see both the devastation and a food kitchen. But the new thing for me was the smell of war…that was the most disturbing thing to me, the smell of smoke and destruction. The destruction that we saw…one family just lost his home and he was showing us his building and it really started getting to me. We saw a professional called a Potato Woman. Her house is all bombed out and she’s planting potatoes for the winter. Their art is not lost with the flowers on the bombed-out cars.
I met with a priest from a Ukrainian orthodox church who was wonderful… thanked me for coming … struggling with ministering to women…a lot of them have been violated. I spoke with nuns who had been helping the women, and she said, we need more weapons, we need more airpower…and here I am, a lowly priest…I know you’ll help people…we need to cover our airspace.
One person told me the Russians have completely brainwashed these 18-20 year old Russian men, just brutalized them to the point where they think the Ukrainians are not human beings. Carolee…a discussion with her…she ministers to Ukrainian military who have been tortured or mistreated by Russians, and this bothered her tremendously.
The Ukrainian People are extremely bright; they are technologically advanced… you don’t see a lot of telephone poles, they have leapfrogging technology. I mean they are so determined and they are clever. I find their sense of humor hilarious and amazing. They want Americans to know, “We’ll fight this. Just help us.” They don’t want our troops…they’re bright enough to use equipment the Americans can give us.
I am a woman of faith. I made my funeral arrangements before I left, so I was encouraged to hear that inner voice. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you are doing. I just encourage you to follow that inner voice.
The raffles were won by Jay Shery of Culver City and a Ukrainian guest.
Shirley’s closing thought: “Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how hard things are, tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better! “