Joy! I am feeling a lot of it these days. I experience joy in every aspect of my life — living on the incredibly beautiful Camas Prairie, working with the sisters and staff of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, enjoying the comfort and embrace of a richly nurturing environment. I am filled with joy at the prospect of moving boldly into the future with this community.

As the newly hired donor relations officer, it is my privilege and pleasure to meet you and get to know you. Although I and the rest of the development team are tasked with raising funds, our ultimate purpose is to invite you to partner with God to transform the lives of others through the Monastery’s mission and ministries. Your faithful and generous contributions are crucial! 

It’s not all about money, though. We want you to experience the joy of engaging with the Monastery community in other ways that are meaningful to you. The possibilities are endless: we encourage you to share your skills and talents, knowledge, inspiration, dreams, and ideas — as well as your financial resources.

Professor, researcher, and author Brené Brown has observed in her work that joy results from a spiritual way of engaging with the world that’s connected to practicing gratitude. This idea has both corporate and personal meaning for me. Collectively, the members of this community accept your generous and faithful support with gratitude and celebrate it with joy. Thank you! My personal prayer is that you will find your unique path to joy. If that path leads you to a deeper commitment to the Monastery, then Hallelujah!

My name is Carrie Barton. I am a recent transplant from the Boise valley where I was born and lived all but three years of my life. I never in a million years expected to move to Cottonwood and work at the Monastery but, hey, I’ve found myself in unexpected places before. In one of those places — Kenya — friends from the Kamba tribe gave me a new name that describes perfectly how I feel about being a member of the St. Gertrude community: Mutanu. It means joy!