A Letter to our community
We are sad to report that the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the Aspen Chapel and that we have had to make some difficult decisions in order for the institution to survive. Like many businesses and non-profits in our Valley and across America we did not foresee nor were we prepared for an event of this magnitude. With the shutdown of the economy in the spring and the subsequent limitations around congregating many of our sources of income have been greatly reduced or are simply no longer available. It has become impossible to operate in the same way as we did pre-pandemic.
As a result, we were left with no other option but to downsize both program and administrative staff, to cut budgets and to re-organize. The hardest of these decisions was the termination of four of our most beloved employees. We worked diligently to make this difficult transition as loving and compassionate as we possibly could. We are truly grateful to our staff, all of which have been integral to fulfilling the mission of the Aspen Chapel and making the Chapel what it is today.
Moving forward we plan to continue with our primary focus, which is to provide open and progressive theology, spiritual enrichment, and peace through interfaith engagement. Prior to the pandemic the Chapel had already began an assessment of our long-term goals. We will use this as opportunity to reorganize with a realistic budget and adherence to best practices for non-profit organizations. Financial sustainability will remain a top priority allowing for the Chapel to continue its mission.
For now, we have reduced our staff to cover our core commitment to the community as we plan for the future - The Chapel will maintain Sunday services (in-person when allowed and web-streamed), the Art Gallery will remain open by appointment and for specific events. Activities that are supported on a volunteer basis including Insights, Morning Meditation, Vipassana, Aspen Noise! and Tuesday Yoga will all continue. Other programs will be temporarily suspended and hopefully reinitiated in the future. Nicholas Vesey will lead spiritual services with Heather Vesey as part-time spiritual assistant. Additionally basic administrative support will be staffed.
Serving our community will remain the Chapel’s focus. Currently, we are working with Aspen Family Connections to help support their initiative to feed the hungry in the Valley and we are continuing our work with Holiday Baskets.
This has been an extremely difficult time for so many people and the Chapel was not spared. Our hearts are heavy but we continue to be encouraged by our dedicated and resilient community. Thank you for your commitment. We truly appreciate you being a member of our community; we will do our best to support you through this difficult time.