Fall Day’s

So it’s mid-morning here in the Atlanta suburbs. I am sitting in my favorite chair in the bedroom, beside the window overlooking the beautiful pool at our apartments. My kitty Gus (short for Lord Edward Augustus) sits on the window seal beside me, sometimes happy for the extra pets, sometimes angry I am sitting in his chair. I think we must both need the sunlight from this spot. The fans are still blowing from over night providing a nice white noise. I have my prayer shawl draped around my shoulders as I do often when sitting here working on ministry, worship or deep thoughts.

I am working on finishing up the power point and bulletin for worship in a few days. I have decided to appoint myself “Volunteer Administrative Assistant”. In this new role, I will do exactly what I am already doing. Working with the Worship team – Jodi, our pastor; Jennifer and myself – to prepare for worship each week. Preparing the bulletin, making the power point and worship script. Jennifer was doing these things but with her new job I have a little more energy then she does. We work well together though. I will also make sure the space is ready for worship each week. I already do Altarscapes and will continue. At the church I will print the needed materials for worship. I will prepare the monthly worship schedule and distribute it. Checking the mail and getting items to whom they need to.

There are several areas that I am not currently doing but hope to soon: be a liasian between the church and the conference for ways we can be involved there. Also planning for ways to initiate growth within our congregation. Follow up with visitors with information about the church. Follow up on/reach out to church members who are sick, hospital visits, experiencing grief. Possibility of in the future providing office hours each week for the congregations needs.

It’s not all glamorous but I feel a strong calling to support the pastor at our church. As a board member, as a person who is called to ministry and exploring this calling within the church – I have many gifts that I want to share. Our church is small and our pastor is part time. I believe anywhere a church has a moral obligation to care especially for their pastor. It has always been my intention to do this in my churches I have been a member. I think though life has often gotten in the way of this intention. Due to some health issues though I have slowed down and it has given me time to concentrate on church, on ministry. I enjoy all the many ways I have found to do the work of the church this year. It is only October but come New Year’s Eve this year I believe I will have so much to reflect on. Exciting things happening and exciting things to come.

I have discovered over the last few months a renewed passion for creating meaningful worship. There are so many really wonderful resources available. So many gifted people with things to say to add emotion and connection to a worship service. I have a strong passion like many of my friends for social justice. I believe this comes from Jesus answer to the greatest commandment to love God with all we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves. In case you are wondering – ALL of God’s creation is our neighbor. I love people. I want the people in my life to know they matter. If someone needs a cup of soup – I’, there. If someone is going to have surgery – I’m there. If someone is mourning – I’m there. Though this is a area I need to work on – I have good intentions here also but I forget to mail a call or am to anxious to make a phone call. I believe I will get to where I want to be.

Well that is a lot for one mornings thoughts. I have to finish this power point and write my grocery list. It’s a difficult balance of life sometimes. Passions and necessities.

By the way – have you heard this song/seen this video from a few years ago? It will be part of our worship this week. (We started a awesome series called “Outside My Own Little World last Sunday – we use Worship Design Studio from Marcia McFee).
I Need to Wake Up Melissa Etheridge

Peace!

It’s 3:00 AM, I must be lonely

I am starting this blog because it is 5:17 AM now and I still have not been to sleep.

I am starting this blog because I am starting a new chapter in my life.

I am starting this blog because at least I can chat virtually while the people in my life are tucked in bed.

I am starting this blog because I have learned a good bit about myself as I start the long and windy road towards ordination.

I am starting this blog because sometimes on Sunday morning I didn’t get out all of what I needed to say.

I am starting this blog because sometimes on Sunday morning it’s not my turn to say.

………………………………………………

So – who am “I”?

Well, I’m Kim – “Just a small town girl, livin’ a lonely world…”. I might have a thing for music – to me all of life has a soundtrack – I hear mine playing really well – how about you? I was born in the early 80’s and came of age in what I consider the greatest decade – The 90’s!

I was raised in the suburbs of Birmingham, AL, living in the same house through my 3-5 years at Community College up until I finally transferred to a University in town. Around this time I knew I was called to full time ministry. What a difficult thing to realize as a young single woman in a Southern Baptist Church. I lived in a apartment not to far from my private Christian University with friends. It was a exciting time, and hard to be away from home.

My next move was to suburbs of Memphis, TN to attend seminary. What a life changing experience!  Professors and knowledge, new friends and places – my life was flooded with possibility and passion like never before. After 3 1/2 amazing years of seminary it was over all to soon.

I next landed in the suburbs of Atlanta. I started out as a intern in a Children’s Hospital to do my Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Next I worked with Adults with Developmental Disabilities -DD- (though I think the terms have shifted again so, ID). This was a passion for me and dear to my heart. I am thankful for the many things I learned along the way. I went to do my year residency as a chaplain at a hospice – it ended abruptly and we scrambled from there. Back to the group home, doing some interning at work and some hospital chaplaincy volunteer.

Things change and churches merge – and here I am, where I am not. Thankfully I myself have grown a lot the last year and have been very involved. Lenten season and Easter I worked closely with two others at our church, forming a worship team. It has been great. The three of us work well together and have brought some things that seem to have been well received.

Which brings me to this moment. I am looking at our new fall series in our Worship Design Studio. It is exciting. Planning meaningful worship that draw people in and help us focus to who we are as a congregation. The three of us on our Worship Planning Team have taken this ball and we are running!

In other moments – I am newly on a journey to seek ordination in my denomination. The United Church of Christ (UCC) is where I hang my hat, so to speak. I’m at the very beginning. I have talked with the board and they are supportive. I have papers to give to them. These papers – they are my faith journey, my calling (at this moment) a letter of interest for the church. I also have had to gather recommendations, my college and seminary transcripts, and a resume.

Since it might come up, sometimes often, sometimes not for a while… I have terrible arthritis in my back as well as several disk problems – this doesn’t stop me completely but some days it slows me down. Some days it means I feel better and get things done at 4:30 AM. Some days it means a lot of Netflix ! I also have fibromyalgia which is pretty complicated at best and crippling at worst. I’m learning about spoons (spoon theory) and if you haven’t you should too. It is very difficult living with chronic pain and fatigue. I also have suffered from depression all of my adult life. Some days there is little to no suffering, some days it is the weight of the world.

Well that is all of my sitting up for now. Gossip Girl on Netflix awaits me.

Goodnight new friends!