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April Showers...Can June Be Far Behind?

Easter Greetings all!  I pray that you have had a meaningful season. And now as we approach this last week of April, we may already be in the last stages of planning Confirmations, Pentecost celebrations and VBS programs! 

As we say; My, how time flies! 

In our culture, we are keenly aware of the concept of chronos, time passing in the way the world marks time-with events, obligations and work to do. Electronic and paper calendars, day-planner diaries, smartphone calendars with their electronic reminders, perhaps even an I-watch that incorporates your time keeping, calendar keeping, health-tracking needs all in one convenient location on your wrist - all these tools keep us moving and help us maintain that keen awareness of time!

This month has been a wet one here in CT., and it has been a gift. While I love being outside in April, involved with various gardening chores, those much needed showers have offered me a gift of unplanned time.  Not just time off - but time to be present. Not chronos moments, but kairos moments.

This month I've spent time preparing for a new baby our family will welcome in July. I am eager to be a grandmother! This month I've spent time in the practice of Spiritual reading. As my Lenten journey drew to a close, I learned more about how to understand my own white fragility and the concept of "white women's tears" (If only I had known!).

This month I made time for a leisurely lunch or two with friends and time for Phil and I to simply relax together.  This month we had time with our children in unplanned visits celebrated with left-overs and laughter.

Now I am able to anticipate all that is on my calendar in the next weeks and months with renewed enthusiasm.  I know May will bring many opportunities to learn and serve and for time in the gardens.  I know that June will soon be here.  Yet, I am reminded to anticipate and appreciate the opportune moments that present themselves and celebrate them in equal measure to the ones I scribble on my calendar.

As congregational leaders, our calendars often give way to cultural and congregational expectations of busyness. There are times when we anticipate the next thing on our calendar to the exclusion of being fully present to the moment. Unaware, we neglect to fully enter and savor new and unexpected opportunities.

My prayer for each of us and all of us is that we find our sacred balance.  It may be different for each of us, but for all of us, it is essential to leading well and most importantly, to our own wellbeing.

In partnership, Karen 


CAUCE Reflects!

A monthly reflection from a CAUCE Coordinating Committee Member

This month, Ms. Krista Judson reflects on What is Church? as she shares a lifelong journey of discovery and a beautiful story about a church in Switzerland. This month's reflection brings this year's series to a close.  You can find archived copies of this and other member reflections on our website, here.


Have you visited our website lately?                                         There is so much there! You'll find information on our shared ministry and feature articles about the amazing things congregations are doing, program and activity invitations, wonderful reflections and spiritual devotionals, news and updates, classifieds from the wider church family and so much more!   

Stop by and visit us at https://www.ctucc.org

 


Because You Asked....

QUESTION: A reader writes,

Good afternoon, a local leader recommended I reach out to you and inquire if you might help me identify materials or information on aging. I’m a member of a UCC church in CT. and our Adult Education Board would like to offer resources and perhaps a program on aging. They would like resources and ideas with a spiritual aspect.  Can you help?

ANSWER: 

Here’s what I can recommend:
 
The Council for Health and Human Services Ministries of the UCC (CHHSM for short) has a Together We Can series.  One resource is called Age-Friendly Congregations.  Here are links to their webpages and to a resource they developed, Age-Friendly Congregations.
  
Here’s a book on Ministry with Baby Boomers: 
 
Additional materials include:
This from the PBS FrontlineSeries: 
 
Here’s a brief (10) bibliography of books from Beliefnet.com: 
 
The UMC (United Methodist Church) has some good materials: 
 
Finally, it might be good to see what The Thoughtful Christian has to offer in their curated library of downloadable studies:
Here’s one on Creative Aging: 
Aging Comes of Age
 
 
 
Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ 
Karen E. Ziel, Minister of Faith Formation and Leadership
860-761-7104
karenz@ctucc.org 
Faith Formation on CTUCC.ORG