“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there." (Unknown)
I think this quote sums up my experience of moving to Fort Collins and how I feel about working at Plymouth Congregational UCC.
You all know I left the comfort of Iowa, having lived there my entire life. The folks of Plymouth have been so welcoming and open to my arrival. I thought I’d give you a quick update on what’s been happening in the last 6 weeks. Time is flying by!
I am completely settled into my new home and I’m really enjoying it. It is close to the church so I can show up for worship and meeting on time! I have already had visitors from Iowa and I’m looking forward to more visitors this week. I love showing my fellow Iowans around Fort Collins and I love showing off what a lovely church and congregation Plymouth is.
My office is all set up and organized. It feels very homey and welcoming. I hope you will stop by and have a look and a visit.
I guess you could say that I’m settled into work and home.
I am spending a lot of my time getting to know you all. I have visited with members in their homes, in my office, in the hospital and rehab centers and of course in the church. I am beginning to remember first names, but don’t ask me about last names yet or about husband/wives/partner/son, daughter/kids connections – YET! I am getting there. Everyone has been gracious and patient as I learn and develop relationships with everyone.
If you were at the Annual Meeting, you know the pastors now have our committee re-assignments. I am really excited to begin working with: Trustees, Calling and Caring Ministries, Congregational Life, First Name Club and Campus Ministry. In addition, I will be preaching, teaching and I have responsibility for the administrative staff (Barb, Anna, Yendra and Jenny/Johnny).
I feel the energy of the church and look forward to a year filled with new dreams. Just as I felt God calling me to Fort Collins, as a congregation we will be exploring more deeply what God is calling on Plymouth to do and become. From my experience these last six weeks – comfort zones are a wonderful place and a necessary place, but growth happens when we reach beyond our comfort and into new dreams.
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.