It has been quite a year for Discover Identity, a year of change and a year of growth. As we begin a new year, we want to take this opportunity to make you aware, if you aren’t already, of what has been accomplished and where we hope to take this organization and this movement in the year and years to come.
In 2019, our second full year of existence, we continued to offer our men’s retreat. In the beginning of the year we renamed that retreat to “As I Am,” in order to better articulate the identity, scope and purpose of the retreat, as well as to avoid confusion with programs offered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We were able to offer the retreat four times in 2019 (St George and Beaver, Utah, Georgia and Brazil). The retreat continues to offer men a place to heal, grow and explore Christ-like masculinity as it did in the past when it was known as “Come Follow Me.”
In 2019 we took the time as a board to reassess our identity as an organization. It became clear that if we were going to effectively serve our three core constituencies that we had to see ourselves as more than a men’s retreat. So, we began to differentiate those core constituencies, creating separate visions and identities for each, while still promoting the greater mission of Discover Identity.
Within Discover Identity we aim to serve men, women and couples and have created unique names to distinguish these groups, all of which fall under the banner of Discover Identity. The three distinct groups within Discover Identity are now known as Men of Good Will (focused on the needs of men); Woman Aware (focused on the needs of women); and Two Parts, One Heart (focused on the needs of couples).
Most of our growth in 2019 occurred with Men of Good Will, which produced the four previously mentioned retreats and launched a monthly men’s group in Provo, Utah. This latter group continues to meet in 2020 on the 2nd Thursday of every month at the Provo library.
Woman Aware and Two Parts, One Heart spent 2019 planning and began to make their presence known on our blog site. Outreach and programs are planned for 2020.
Another major accomplishment of 2019 was the redesign and relaunch of our website; DiscoverIdentity.org. We are very proud of how it turned out and how it is evolving. We hope that you will take the time to check it out regularly and refer others to it.
As a board we saw the departure of one board member, Jeff Lark, who contributed so much in the early days of our creation, and to whom we extend our heartfelt thanks. We also added three new board members, Tera Brown, Marianne Downing and Aaron Perkins. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the critical role Aaron played in creating and driving the work on the website, as well as managing its on-going maintenance.
Finally, towards the end of 2019 we achieved two important milestones as an organization.
In December we were officially recognized as a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization by the IRS.
Also, in December we finalized our branding by selecting a logo for Discover Identity and each of its affiliates. (Click here to see the logos and the story behind them.)
The official, legal recognition by the IRS and our own symbolic declaration of our identity helps to better establish who we are and what we expect to accomplish in serving our constituents. Our intention is to take this clarified identity and organization forward in 2020 by continuing to present our previous offerings, expand the conversation about identity and to offer services to women and couples.
We hope that you will want to be a part of this exciting future and invite you to reach out to us with your thoughts and feedback. And if you feel so inclined, please click on the link to complete our volunteer application.
With thanks and blessings in the year to come,
The board of Discover Identity
Curtis Brown, Chairman
Alan Downing, Executive Director
Tera Brown, Secretary
Marianne Downing, Treasurer
Aaron Perkins, Chief Information Officer