*Have a Graduate in your family? Fill out THIS FORM so we can recognize them in Worship on May 15!*
Spring is such a poignant time of year – we rid of the evidence of winter (so many tree branches on the ground, yellow and dormant plants) and make space for new life and growth. We might eve do some Spring cleaning around our homes and spaces, getting ready for a busy, warmer season. In this time, we grab moments to enjoy the newness and cherish the end of an era.
Newness: Our Worship Space!
On Palm Sunday (April 10), Holmeswood revealed a beautiful new Worship space. Complete with art by our own Ginger Shew and friends, an altar and pulpit created by our own Steve Lau and other personal elements that draw us into the living water that is Christ. In this new space, we also have places for wheels (strollers, walkers, wheelchairs) to make it accessible for all abilities. There is even a Gathering Space, with a glass wall between this room and the sanctuary, offering opportunities for all to Worship as they are able, while deterring from noise and activity distractions. This is especially wonderful for families with younger children or those among us with needs of a space where we can make noise or move around during Worship.
The three spaces for families with children (Gathering Space, back right side of sanctuary and front right of sanctuary) offer comfortable and flexible furniture to experience Worship based on a child’s ability to participate. Throughout the sanctuary, there is a feeling of openness and invitation to be fully present among this community with a fully present God. In fact, the older children are already so comfortable with the space, I have started the mantras of “Remember, one body per beanbag chair” and “Okay, let’s explore a few books together instead of putting all of them on the floor.” These are signs of engagement and comfort, and the children are making this new worship space their home. What a beautiful gift!
Endings: Upcoming Graduations
Every year, we celebrate graduates – elementary, middle school, high school, college, graduate school, etc. It is so important for our human minds and hearts to reflect upon one era before diving into the next chapter of life’s experiences. Sure, we can have moments of regret or *wishing* we had done or said something differently; yet we also have moments of pride and determination to grow and live more wisely in the future. This is all bundled up in the complicated, beautiful act of a Graduation. Based primarily on an education journey, we know that Graduations also wrap up eras of social lives and friend groups, family events and even moments that changed our collective and individual lives forever. And I haven’t even touched on the fact that our current high school graduates only had one high school year without COVID-19 being a part of life! So much has happened.
As you reflect upon your own graduation(s) of endings and of the beginnings of new chapters (like the beautiful sanctuary renovation), may you journal, talk to God about them. Reflect on who you once were and who you are now. Then think about who you plan to be in the future. How will you get there? Even 5 minutes of reflection can affect 5 years of future life.
Begin with the End in Mind.
Yes, this is a famous quote from someone supposedly highly successful. And, yet, it also rings true. While we humans cannot predict how and where life will move, we can know that God’s presence will be with us the entire time. How do I want to show up to this life? What do I want to be known for among my community of family, friends and neighbors? How will I accomplish this?
As some of you know, my spouse and I have started down the road of adoption to grow our family. I thought I was a pretty open book before but *WOW!* you really have to stretch and grow in ways we never had to before. I’m convinced that I’m more fully myself after having gone through this long process of paperwork, $$$, time, waiting, more paperwork, classes, essays, more classes, lots of difficult conversations with strangers and with loved ones, and more waiting. (And we have just gotten started!) But the end result is where I focus on the particularly difficult and awkward moments. Over a year of having to look at my life from different angles is much like what I do with a bit of Scripture when preparing a sermon. And with a Beginning and an Ending, it is much the same — how do we see our lives from all of the angles? Who do we want to become? How will we get there?
I encourage you to think through some of this during the week. Jot down some thoughts or share them with a loved one. It really will change your perspective and drive your purpose, even when you’re doing mundane things like dishes and other chores. What is your WHY? Then know that God has already jumped on board to this wild ride that is your life. What a comfort.