From 8 to 188: The Miraculous Years

Synaxis of the Archangel Michael & the other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudie & Barachiel

Dreher_at_Ladder_with_Jennifer_Harder_Square.jpegSEVERAL important things happened three years ago at Eighth Day Institute (“EDI”).

First, EDI received a grant for two purposes: (1) to send me a way for a month to re-start my dissertation (a long story that I’m so glad to have behind me); and (2) to bring me on as a full-time employee of EDI.

Second, I began studying how to actually run a non-profit. Until then, I had just plowed forward teaching, publishing, and creating events with no professional training in the non-profit world. I have learned so much over the past three years and I continue to devour material on how to operate and improve our operations (I am living proof that a real liberal arts education instills a love of learning!).

Third, the first fruit of that launch into the professional non-profit world was an end-of-year appeal letter. I sent one to the Hall of Men and one to the broader public. I just re-read both of them and learned that just three years ago we only had 8 Eighth Day Members! (You can read them too, at the links above.)

Fourth, EDI invited Rod Dreher and James K. A. Smith to our fifth annual 2015 Eighth Day Symposium. They were both delighted by their experience in Wichita. So delighted, in fact, that Dreher repeatedly raved about our work on his nationally acclaimed blog in the American Conservative (here's two samples: "Wichita's World of Wonders" and "The Happiest Place on Earth"). Smith did the same in his quarterly journal Comment and then went on to publish an interview with me to explain the work of EDI and our connection to Eighth Day Books. The Dreher & Smith publicity led to a staggering 1,600% increase in our membership – from 8 to 136!

Why all this history?

Because it is quite remarkable – I believe miraculous – to see the growth of EDI over such a short period of three years: a dissertation written, funding for a full-time director, significant professional development as a non-profit organization, national attention, and growth from those original 8 members to 188 today!

Part of our growth has also included the development of:

1. NEW EVENTS
Inklings Octoberfest  & Lecture Series 

St John of Damascus Award Banquet

Eighth Day Colloquium (Feb 2018)

Florovsky Week (July 2018)

2. NEW PUBLICATIONS
Synaxis

Word from the Fathers

The Hall of Men as a Foundation for Cultural Renewal (in the works).

Eighth Day Books Catalog (Fall 2018)

Such dynamic growth, however, has also naturally included increased expenses. Hence our recent, and extremely successful, Inklings Fall Fundraising Campaign for monthly Eighth Day Members. You helped us raise our number of monthly members from 93 to 127 (37% increase) and our total monthly membership revenue from $2,390 to $4,408 (84% increase). THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

In order to sustain our growth and meet our budget to facilitate consistent implementation of our offerings, we ultimately need to reach the goal of $10,000 in monthly membership revenue. We’ve mapped a strategic plan out to reach that goal over the course of the next three years. Thank God, because of your generosity, we’re already ahead of schedule. And we hope our #GivingTuesday and End-of-Year campaigns will put us even further ahead of schedule.

If you think our culture is exponentially descending into decrepitude – as I do – and if you believe in our mission and work as much as I do, you can continue to help us grow in the following four ways: 

1. If you are on social media, visit our Facebook page, Like and Follow it, and Share the daily content we post there. This disseminates our published content to promote cultural renewal.

2. Invite your friends to do the same.

3. Bring a friend to one of our events so they can experience the unique sort of fellowship that happens at all of our events...where Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants gather for dialogues of love and truth. And they actually are dialogues of love and truth, that is to say, friendly conversations without minimizing the differences.

4. Help us with our end-of-year campaign through peer-to-peer fundraising. This means being willing to share a donation page with your network of friends. Your word is far more convincing to a friend than my word is to a complete stranger. If you are willing to contribute to EDI in this way, please email me and I will make this easy for you to do.

Thanks again for your amazing support and encouragement in this vitally important work of renewing our decadent culture! I am humbled and grateful for our amazing Eighth Day Community!

In Christ
Erin John

P.S. If you are not a member of our community yet, please consider joining today.

P.S.S. If you live in Wichita and are a Patron or Pillar, join us at The Ladder for the Benedict Hour on Fridays from 4-6 pm.


Erin Doom is the founder and director of Eighth Day Institute. He lives in Wichita, KS with his wife Christiane and their four children, Caleb Michael, Hannah Elizabeth, Elijah Blaise, and Esther Ruth.

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