The Light for June 8, 2021
By Kathy Tate-Bradish
President Chris Joyce called the meeting to order with a club recitation of “Why We Are Rotarians.” John Searles gave the Thought for the Day: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” - Ghandi
President Chris recapped last week’s District Conference and highlighted the role our club played as the host of a presentation on the environment. Kudos to Steve Goranson for his excellent report on our club’s ongoing environmental work, chaired by Steve.
Susan Prout invited us to join her to bundle diapers for Bundled Blessings later on Tuesday. Bundled Blessings provides supplemental diapers through social service agencies. If you missed this month, please join a session in the future; as they provide diapers for about 440 children a month.
Katherine Peterson: Gather afterwards for fellowship at Celtic Knot at about 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Katherine also announced that the annual club installation of new officers and board members will be celebrated with a barbecue event, Tuesday, June 22, at  Lighthouse Beach Shelter, 2611 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.   Food is being provided by Hecky’s and final details will be forthcoming.  Please mark your calendar and plan on joining the fun!
Gary Peterson: Our club goal for donations to The Rotary Foundation is $18,000. We have already reached $19,330. Thanks to all who have donated, and if you’re still able and willing, go to and donate to the Annual Fund. A percentage of this money comes back to us for grants in three years.
Harold Bauer suggested that Chris let Ira Graham know that he was commemorated, along with Bob Teska and Paul Brown, for being a founding member of our club and a 36-year member.
Bruce Baumberger is making the first round of Ravinia ticket purchases. Please read your email from him and get in touch if you are interested. Also, the Rotary Convention is coming up – register at, or better yet (thanks Jean Saunders) for more direct sign up. There will be a fun virtual platform.
Ann Weatherhead: The Race Against Hate walk, sponsored by the YWCA, is taking place in memory of the murder of Ricky Birdsong in 1999. Ann is forming a team for Sunday, July 20, at 3 p.m. Join her by registering on the YWCA website; get a t-shirt, too – the donation is $25.
Joy Joyce: Steve G has already requested a volunteer waiver for working at the North Shore Channel Habitat Project. If you’re interested in joining Chris, Joy, and Steve weeding and watering, they meet there Tuesday mornings at 9:30. Joy will bring extra waivers. Let her know if you are interested. Bring your own tools (spade, weed puller, etc.) if you have them, but they have extras for volunteers.
Randy Usen: Taste of Evanston update. Event planner Linda Bouvilom is working on the event, and the committee is meeting regularly. If you have potential sponsors please email Randy, Steve Steiber, or Michael Merdinger.
Helen Oloroso is organizing the Silent Auction. Stay tuned for ideas of what you can donate.
Steve G: new restaurant Comfort Desserts on Dempster – the owner would be happy to participate.
Chris: June board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. on Zoom, Wednesday, June 16, for all current and upcoming board members and committee chairs. All members are also welcome.
Roasts & Boasts
Ann Searles – We were chosen as the #1 Environmental Club in the District! Steve Goranson gets a lot of credit. Steve G: We will be getting a plaque in acknowledgment.
John Searles: NPR announced that it was Rebecca Nurse’s 400th anniversary - she was hung as a witch in
Salem, Mass. but her biggest accomplishment: She is John’s 7th great-grandmother. No wonder people keep saying that John is a son of a witch.
Ann and John’s 32nd wedding anniversary is this week.
Topic: Nonviolent Communication
Speaker: Jennifer Warnick, Certified Trainer, Center for Nonviolent Communication
Not only is Jennifer a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, but she is also a trainer with that organization’s Institute of  Heartful Families and Family H.E.A.R.T. Camp, where she teaches life skills for reaching across differences.
Based in Madison, Wis., and working virtually, Jennifer is a trainer, mediator, and empathic coach for families, educational institutions, and non-profits. Katherine Peterson and Jennifer met when they were both homeschool moms 15 years ago.
Jennifer came to this work out of a desire to connect more deeply and hear more easily, to get past moments that got in the way of her collaborative work. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC, made it his life’s work to understand how and why some of us struggle with pain, tension, and conflict, while others are more resilient in the face of challenging experiences.
Jennifer explained that Non-Violent Communication is an unfortunate name, that compassionate or collaborative communication is more reflective of the work.
NVC brings specific practice with a specific set of principles that are easy to learn and lead to a life-long way to interact with others and ourselves.
Jennifer led us in several exercises to give a taste of what NVC looks like. She invited us to try a different way of experiencing others, and to practice during the week.
First, she led us in a thought experiment: What things do every human being in the world have in common? What qualities of life, values, needs are necessary to survive and thrive? The group listed relationship, love, kindness, compassion, understanding, and connection. Jennifer highlighted connection, as it is her intention to reach for connection in everything she teaches.
Second, we grabbed a small object near us, and imbued it with something very important to us. The object now represents that quality. Then we put the object where we couldn’t see it and imagined that we would live the rest of our lives never having that quality available to us.
What would it be like? The group listed loss of enthusiasm for life, devasting, empty, depression, loss.
Marshall Rosenberg called the important qualities and values “universal human needs” – every human has them, and the loss or absence of them is devastating. We all share universal human needs, and we need them to survive and thrive. It’s important to note that universal human needs are not connected to a specific person doing a specific thing – what we do is the strategy that we use to meet our needs. This is a very important distinction because we connect around needs, but we might or might not connect around strategies. This is where we discover differences.
Jennifer led us in another activity to highlight where we put our attention – for her a precious piece of NCV that can allow us to see others in a different way. Think about something you heard from someone else that’s difficult – a “no” answer, feedback you don’t like, etc. There are four ways to respond. If we respond habitually, 1. We judge others or 2. We judge ourselves. That creates space between us and doesn’t lead us toward connection. If we respond with the specific empathy of NVC, 3. We guess what the other person needs, the universal human need that is motivating them, and/or 4. We hold a mirror to ourselves and ask, “what am I needing in this moment.”
Listening and wondering – what are they feeling and what are they needing – that is empathy in NVC.
We seek empathy for them and empathy for ourselves – get out of the habit of judging and replace it with empathy.
Jennifer proposes that this week we notice any internal tension in an interaction with someone and ask: what is that about? What am I needing in this moment? What am I feeling and what am I needing? What are they feeling and what are they needing? Remember that empathizing in a joyful experience is just as important as empathizing in a difficult situation.
See if you notice any difference in how you feel at the end of the day if you have moved through the day with interactions grounded in your values. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to visit The Center for Nonviolent Communication
President Chris thanked Jennifer for her excellent presentation and closed the meeting with the Four Way Test of the Things We Think, Say, or Do. Jennifer stayed in the meeting to answer questions.
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarian
Kelly Fidei, Rotary Club of Evanston
Other Guest
Jennifer Warnick, speaker
Bill Vernon, June 11
Club Anniversaries
Kathy Tate-Bradish, 6 years
Founding members Paul Brown, Ira Graham, and Bob Teska, 36 years!