So remember how you (hopefully) received a Star Word back in January to help us contemplate Epiphany and what adventures 2020 may have in store for us? 
How’s it going with your word? 
Any revelations that have come your way? 
I ask because 2020 is really something so far…. to be polite about it.

And I ask because a funny thing happened this week with my Star Word.  The leadership group I’m part of for younger clergy in the United Church of Christ (The Next Generation Leadership Initiative) requires us to do some form of Continuing Education every year during our 10 years in the program.  This year I wrote a proposal back in December to do an 8 Day Directed Retreat at a Jesuit Retreat Center in Gloucester, Massachusetts in September.  It will mostly be spent in silence and solitude.  I will be bringing one of my Bibles, a journal, and a whole stack of books that I’ve been meaning to read.  Retreatants see a Spiritual Director daily who checks in with you.  And in the midst of everything happening with covid I was contemplating not going. 

The Jesuits, God bless their hearts, sent out a detailed email with everything they have put into place to keep their Retreat Center and all those guests like me who will spend time there safe.  Still, I contemplated if I should go or not.  But then what would I do to fulfill the Continuing Education requirement for NGLI?  (Plus our church gives me 10 days a year for Study Leave, and my mentor Pash always cautioned me about not getting intellectually lazy!)  My mind began to turn over all the possibilities.  And I kid you not, I looked up from my laptop sitting in my lap on the couch to the refrigerator where I have my Star Word standing alone on the side.  The word I received in January was DEVOTION.  It was like that star just began to shine!  And I just began to laugh.  I see what you’re up to there, God, and so yes, I am off to be with the Jesuits in early September.  Because maybe I do need that uninterrupted time to work on that whole devotion thing, to keep you at the center of my life so that everything else better falls into place.  God is still speaking indeed.

Any epiphanies happen with your Star Word?  I would love to hear your stories!

Pastor Lauren 

(This Week’s Thoughts 8.5.20)