Dear Friends,
Today, Wayne and I sent Bets, Foxy, Jo-Jo and Phyllis off to join a new family of goats and yes, a large family of chickens (at least larger than four). I felt like the Mother Hen sending them off to “chicken camp.” There was some relief knowing they would be well cared for by Kate and Joe, their “adoptive care takers!” Once they were carefully placed in their travel carriers, with an abundance of mealy worms as comfort food for the ride, we didn’t hear a peep out of them. It helped that it was a nice day for a short ride to Blandford in Joe’s pick-up truck.

Genesis founder Sister Elizabeth Oleksak with “Bets” in October 2018..

Joe assured me they would be well cared for, especially with the attention his partner Kate would give to them in case there should be any turf encounters. As our girls were no longer laying eggs, the adoption was a very generous gesture for which I am most grateful. Of course their age and beautiful coat of feathers will bring wisdom and a touch of class to their companions in their new home. I am almost sure our Jo-Jo will become Mother Hen to all!

Thanks to so many of you for your generous donations toward feed and especially the mealy worms over the years. I know they often welcomed you upon arrival at Genesis—leading you up the ramp for registration. Many of you enjoyed their “chicken dance” and display of color as they performed on their way to and from their coop, or as they scampered in and out of the gardens, seeking the treats of Mother Earth. Yes, they are and will be missed. I am sure they might miss the special attention they received from Genesis guests, along with the children and the college students who took a great interest in them. They provided teaching moments for all!!

My thanks to Nick and Wayne for their assistance during the last couple of years. Because of their help I have been able to care for “our girls” into their and my senior years!! Thanks also to Sister Ann Horgan and other friends who over the years covered for me during my vacation days.

Sending a grateful “cluck cluck” to all,
—Sister Elizabeth

Editor’s Note: The following letter written by Sister Elizabeth Oleksak last October first appeared in the Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center’s Jan.-Sept. 2019 program calendar and is reprinted here with permission. Sister Elizabeth cared for various flocks of chickens on the Genesis grounds since 1991. Her letter looks at her experience of moving the most recent flock under her tutorage to their new home with “Kate” and “Joe.” Her references to Nick and Wayne refer to Nick Lukomsky and Wayne Cumberlander, Genesis’ plant manager and assistant.

Pictured above: In this 2011 file photo, Sister Elizabeth Oleksak appears to be gathering her brood of chickens together. Perhaps it was time to return to the chicken coop for the night.

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