Announcing a Transition: A Message from the Executive Director
October 2, 2019
Dear BHFH Community,
I’m writing to share a bittersweet announcement with you. Our Program Manager, Emily Savin, will be transitioning out of her role at the Friends House this October and moving on to pursue other leadings. The Friends House has benefited so much from Emily’s work over the past year, and we are sorry to see her go. A message from her is below.
We’re committed to making this a smooth transition. We have a robust lineup of programming planned for this fall, and more in the works from the Quaker Learning and Quaker Action committees as well as outside partners. We’re preparing to launch the search for the next person in this role: watch this space for a job description to share soon! Meanwhile, Jeff, Vickie, and Nils are coming forward to fill in as needed.
Please join me in appreciating Emily’s many contributions to the Friends House. She has led a rich series of public programs, built and deepened relationships with outside groups doing important work, deepened our attention and focus on our Quaker grounding and on contemplative practices as a foundation of what we do, and created systems that will continue to support our work as we go forward. A mentor of mine, Mitchell Wade, likes to say, “The only change that matters is the change that lasts after you leave.” I think Emily has made a lot of change here that will matter and will last.
I’m excited to work with Emily as she transitions out, and to build on our progress so far and see what the next iterations of our staff team and our collective work together look like.
A message from Emily Savin:
I arrived at Beacon Hill Friends House last year with clarity that I was following a leading, and that this work called upon something in me that was deep and true. That is just what it has done. Living, working, and worshipping in this community has been a profound experience that has grown, stretched, challenged, and delighted me, and it’s hard to imagine my life without this chapter in the journey.
To take on the new role of Program Manager was to join in the process of co-imagining and co-creating the future of an institution that many of you have known and loved for a long time. Stepping into this process as a newcomer might have been daunting, but it wasn’t. You welcomed me to Beacon Hill with joy, support, and encouragement. You shared with me your time and energy, your hearts and minds, your yearnings and visions. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and I’m grateful for the time we’ve shared.
It would be safer and more comfortable in many ways to stay: I don’t know yet what’s next for me, and the prospect of leaving this community brings up some grief and sadness. But I know that it’s time to make this transition. After considerable wrestling with the decision, I was moved to find at this year’s Annual Sessions of New England Yearly Meeting in August that every message about faithfulness held for me a clear call to move on. I gave two months’ notice a few days after returning to Boston.
Without the support of Nils, the Friends House, and the wider Quaker community, I might have doubted the call I heard, thinking “That can’t be right” and “A year is too soon” and “What will people think?” I am deeply grateful to be in a community that has faith in faith. Without the structures that facilitate my following this call, doing so would be a much riskier move: I’m grateful for a safety net of economic security and for access to an excellent state-administered health insurance plan, privileges everyone deserves and many don’t have. And finally, I’m bursting with gratitude for the gift of a community of supportive f/Friends to help me discern my way forward with trust and wisdom.
I’m not saying goodbye to the Friends House community, because I’m looking forward to maintaining a close connection. Instead, I’ll say this: I don’t know what’s next for me, but I can’t wait to share it with you.