Friends,

I hope most of you already know that the mission of the YMCA is: "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all."

An important part of that mission is fulfilling the last 2 words: for all.  We strive every day to be welcoming and encouraging to all at the Countryside YMCA.  We still have a way to go to make that mission a reality for everyone in our community, but with the help of many of you, we are making strides in that direction.

In the midst of the current unrest across our nation, I want to take a moment to share a little more about our YMCA history and focus.

This is one of the historical Y logos.  You may recognize it if you have been a part of the Y for a long time or have seen it painted on our wall in our Lower-Level Mini Gym.

YMCA historical logoThe logo includes an open Bible and the verse citation for John 17:21:  "21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

This verse has been at the heart of the YMCA movement for over 100 years.  It reminds us that as part of our Christian heritage and faith we are to seek unity.  I do not believe unity means that we all need to agree on everything.  In fact, I think a world where everyone agrees would be pretty boring.  So even in our disagreements, I do believe that we can find unity. 

We can be unified in our respect for others, unified in our care for others and unified in our willingness to seek ways to improve this community, country, and world.

I am inviting you to join me to help make Countryside YMCA a safe place for ALL; a place where others feel heard, respected, encouraged and cared for.

And for those who pray, will you join me in praying for our nation? I am praying for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, a strengthening of our economy and the financial status of individuals, a decrease in social unrest, a peaceful transition of power and an overall move in unity across racial, economic, and social divides.

Thank you for being a part of the Countryside YMCA family!

Chris Johnson
President and CEO, Countryside YMCA
513 932 1424 ext 122
chris.johnson@ymcastaff.org