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Laurel Lodge—community retreat space

As a single drop of water creates a ripple felt to the edges of a lake, each life force is felt to the edges of the earth... and beyond.

Jonny and Jayna Gieber were inspired to bring to life a retreat center to serve a growing group of people who form the People of the Heart community. Sister Laurel actively participated in the planning and development activities, and she helped to make it possible by funding the purchase of the land. The People of the Heart Community chose to name the retreat space in Laurel's honor following her death in 2001.

Laurel is present in the generosity of all who continued the vision to build this sacred space. Laurel's joyful spirit laughs and dances amongst us when we gather as community.

Laurel lives on through her very special contribution to this land, our family, and community.

Laurel was a very rare person in that she accepted her life's calling. Her compassion for others, her vigilant advocacy of children, her passion to teach and lead, her unwavering commitment to see the brightness in others was seen and felt from her at a very young age.

The second youngest child, and only daughter, in a family of seven children, Laurel always found a way to hold her own, to get what she needed, command respect, and yet, her persona was of a sweet, gentle, and loving person.

Laurel easily made friends; she had a way to make you feel as though you were the most important person on the planet when you were with her. Laurel championed and celebrated the best in people. She was a magnet to many who sought her out; time with Laurel would make them feel better about themselves. Laurel intentionally lived a deliberate financial life, she lived an abundant life, and she looked for opportunities to share her blessings with others, especially those in need.

Children danced in Laurel's presence; they became inspired and were challenged to lead the life they came here to live. The love and safety in Laurel's arms, and in her classroom, felt like home to many children, and to some, it was much better.

Community absorbed every ounce of Laurel's efforts. Laurel collaborated with fellow teachers to bring needed changes into the schools, she served as a child advocate at The Child Center, and as a crisis counselor, where she was called on to heroically and compassionately perform in response to many devastating circumstances.

Laurel was a giver and she replenished herself by having a full life with her husband, her daughter, her family, and her friends, of which she had many. If you knew Laurel you were her friend.

The ongoing impact of her life today grows with time. Laurel lives in the sadness of us who think about her and miss her. She also calls forth the divinity in each of us. Laurel's life continues to flourish as her gentle and guardian heart, her endless capacity to love, and generosity of spirit, is carried forward by the providence in each of us touched by this angel.

Who is going to love us now? We are! We are here to love one another.

It is Laurel's legacy.