I have used the expression, “I am drinking from a firehose,” a lot in the past few weeks. As my family and I purchased a new home in West Des Moines, moved from MN, and I began work here as the newest member of the staff of the Iowa Conference UCC, there have been a lot of new things to learn and see and do. As a former fire chaplain, when I make a comment about firehoses, the real deal is in my mind. I know how heavy those hoses are. I know the kind of power they contain. I know that it takes more than one person to hold and control the average firehose when that nozzle is cranked wide open. So, on the one hand, moving to a new place to do work that is new to me, is a little bit daunting and sometimes feels like if I have to let go with one hand to scratch my nose, then the whole thing will jump and spin out of control. On the other hand, it also feels like the fun and refreshment of the hose’s spray on a hot summer day (which we’ve had here lately!). And that’s part of how I know that I am in the place that God has invited me to be in at just the right time along this journey.
There are a lot of exciting things happening in the ministry of the Iowa Conference UCC! There are fabulous clergy, amazing pastors and chaplains and leaders who are transforming lives by being the church in their everyday work and lives. There are amazing lay people who give countless hours of time for committees, prayers, worrying, fundraising, and sharing their stories of how their connection to Christ is changing their lives and can do the same for others who are searching for a change as well. There are dedicated and tireless support staff who navigate the work of papers, committees, emails, faxes, logistics, and resources while always remembering their piece of making and encouraging disciples of Jesus Christ who transform our world into the world God hopes for it to be. And while all of these people of our institution, our church, are true treasures here in Iowa, the greatest gift we have is of course the gift of our friend and savior, Jesus the Christ, who holds us all together as a beautiful, diverse, sometimes cranky, oftentimes miraculous, family of faith.
In this time, in all times, of uncertainty, we need our church family. When countries are at war, when we are afraid for the safety of our loved ones when they go off to work or school, when one health crisis threatens to bankrupt us immediately, we need our church family. God promises to us through his beautiful son Jesus, that we are not alone, and we live that out in family, as the church, with one another.
My family and I are blessed to be the church with you! Thank you for welcoming us to the Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ! I hope to continue to meet and make new friends with as many of you as I possibly can in the coming weeks, months, and years…I just beg your patience and grace as I’m still figuring out how to work my calendar, email, and phone!
Blessings for Journey,