by Rev. Carla Cain
I am a coffee drinker. Actually, one might say I am a coffee snob. I like it hot, black and smooth. I make my coffee first thing when I wake in the morning and it goes nicely with my morning devotional reading and my news intake.
Drinking coffee is part of my daily spiritual practice. And my cup symbolizes a connection or an emotion that it evokes. The cup I drink from has meaning. Each cup I drink from has a story. It is a holy part of my ritual.
When I moved to Colorado I downsized my coffee cups. I only brought with me those that fulfilled my more current spiritual path. Those I left behind at the local donation center had fulfilled their role in my sacred coffee journey. Besides this cup below, another favorite says: “Well behaved women rarely make history." It is my reminder to never be small.
The current cup I am drinking from says ‘Pastor’ and was a gift from some very dear friends for my ordination. This morning, after months and months of using this cup regularly, I actually read what it said (beyond ‘Pastor’). It’s funny how I had not read or spend any time reflecting on the nutritional facts as listed. Those facts listed for a pastor include: hard working, passion, determination, pride, mercy, love and faith.
And, of course I don’t take these things seriously but I began to wonder what the true nutritional facts would be, not only for me but for you. For instance, where is fun, creative, caring, contemplative, strategic or doubting as ‘nutritional facts’ for a pastor?
They are called nutritional facts on the coffee cup, but I think of them as things or attributes that keep me in connection with God and my service to this work. It is really important during these uncertain times that we all recognize that God is present and active in our lives. Regular spiritual practices, regular prayer or connecting with creation are ways to keep us awake.
And all of this is to say, what are the (nutritional) facts that connect you with God in your spiritual practice? What are those things that remind you of the existence of God no matter what is happening in your life?
As always, please feel free to let me know your answers or reach out for guidance along the journey. My prayer is that you feel that strong presence of God dwelling within you.
In December, Carla started her two-year designated term pastorate at Plymouth. She spent the last 5 years consulting with churches on strategic planning, conflict transformation and visioning. Before going to seminary she volunteered at her church through Stephen Ministry, visiting ministries and leading worship services at a memory care unit and a healthcare facility. She served on the Board of Directors for the Iowa conference of the United Church of Christ.