Another Covid Christmas was not on my 2021 Bingo Card. In addition to all the craziness raging on in the world, we had an overfilled holiday weekend, leaving me even more exhausted. I am weary. I imagine I am not alone.
In our Family Christmas Eve Zoom, Jane Anne asked a question that is sticking with me: What kept the magi going?
We are now in the season of Christmastide, waiting until Epiphany. In a few short days, the wise men will finally meet Jesus. Especially during these twelve days, I have been meditating on what kept them going.
The baby Jesus was a new king. This birth represented a new political and economic system. They wanted to see this. They wanted to feel this. They wanted to believe this. It’s no longer that hope was coming. Hope arrived. They were going to find Hope.
This is what I am striving to remember as we move towards Epiphany and into 2022. As we partner with God’s redemptive work in the world, we bring wholeness and newness to our systems.
There is hope that things will get better. That kept the magi going, and it will keep me going. I am tired. I am weary. And yet I rejoice in the Hope that is here and still yet to come.
Summers during my time in seminary at the Iliff School of Theology were about exploring Colorado, specifically Fort Collins. As a Journey student at Iliff, I was able to take classes online and be in the classroom in Denver one week every 10 weeks, or 4 times per year. During the winter, fall and spring times, I would fly from Des Moines to Denver. But in the summer I would drive and experience Fort Collins before attending my classes in Denver.
I would drive to Horsetooth Mountain to hike and enjoy the beautiful mountain views. I would walk up and down the streets of Old Town window shopping and yes, the breweries! I explored the breweries!
And, as I always do, I searched for the local UCC church. I remember driving by Plymouth and immediately looking for the website. As I read the staff profiles and explored the news and events, I thought, “That’s my kind of church!”
I always enjoyed my time in Fort Collins. To be honest, I don’t know why I picked Fort Collins as a place to spend a few precious days before going to Denver. But, I have a profound belief in the power of the Holy Spirit, the wisdom that comes with intention and that God is always at work in our lives.
As we are only a few days into the New Year and having just passed Epiphany, I am reminded of the journey of the Magi, who followed the light of a star, left their comfort zone and their familiar surroundings to go into places unknown to finding what they were looking for and being changed by what they found.
I was looking for a wonderful church to continue my ministry. I left the comforts of my home state, my job, my friends and family to find what I was looking for. I am thrilled to be called to Plymouth Congregational UCC and to be your new Associate Minister and I am filled with wonderment in how my first “drive by” may have played a role in my journey to Plymouth.
I look forward to getting to know each of 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.