Pastoral Ponderings – March 2023

“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creating that had been done..”  ~ Genesis 2:3


There is so much happening here at Faith UCC, and all of it is exciting!

First, our conversations with First Christian are going well. At times it feels like we are ready for the next step, and then there are other times that it feels very overwhelming. Bringing two churches together to be one is hard work, but so exciting. If you are unable to make it to our Q and A sessions following worship (our next one is Sunday, February 26), please feel free to ask anyone on the committee your questions, or just share your thoughts. Committee members include Mark Christy, Amy Dowell, Cheryl Leamer, and Jill Pepper.

Second, the time for my Sabbatical is coming quickly! Just like our conversations with First Christian, this comes with both the stress of making sure everything is in place and covered while I am gone, as well as the excitement of three months to rest my weary body, mind and spirit!

I know many of you have questions around this, and we will talk more over the next couple of months. Here is a brief rundown of what my plans are—albeit there are several things still up in the air!

June 4—The last Sunday before Sabbatical. We will hold a blessing during worship, and a reception following.

June 5—September 4—My Sabbatical

June 5—June 11—State Trap Meet in Cedar Falls, Iowa

June 12—June 28—We hope to be camping at West Lake. This allows us to be close to home for David and Karsten if they need something, but for me to be away from the church. Living right next door creates a unique problem for me, as I can see everything that goes on through my living room window. In order for this to truly be effective, I need to break away for a while.

June 29—July 4—General Synod in Indianapolis, IN (I am an Iowa Conference delegate)

July 5—August 10—I have 3 trips planned, but we are still trying to work out dates with those I am going to see, as well as flight details. I plan to visit my parents and sister and brother-in-law in West Palm Beach, Florida for 2 weeks, visit friends in Elko, NV for 10 days, and vacation with the family in Montana to see Jarrod.

August 11—September 4—I will return home and spend time on projects I would like to finish around the house, along with spending time with a friend on her flower farm!

September 5—I will return to the office.

September 10—My first Sunday back. We will have a lunch following worship, and I will show pictures and talk about what I did, and you will share what you did!

Every day I will spend time in prayer and meditation, as well as journaling. I am nervous about that, because I am not good at it—but that is part of the process! Your job will be to get to know the members of First Christian better by holding conversations, playing, praying, or whatever you come up with! Then when we get back together, we will look to the future! I know this unknown is scary for some, but in the end, the rest that we all take will be rewarded and blessed by God.

June 5—August 5—Jill Pepper will lead worship and be on call. She will be in the office M-TH 9—Noon.

August 6—September 4—I will let you know who will be leading worship and on call.

I will have a list out for volunteering in the next couple of weeks, so please watch for that. Again, I know you have lots of questions, and I will try to address more here next month. Otherwise, please feel free to contact me to ask!

~ Always Peace,  Pastor Heidi