Monday, Monday

A post full of life updates....

It's Monday night, and today went by in a flash!

The weekend was great. Board games and dinner with friends on Friday night. Settlers of Catan. How about that? I'm only 10 years late on the bandwagon.

Saturday was nice. Coffee shop. Chess. And many freelance hours working on a local congregation's newsletter. I'm finding a real love for design work and it's nice to have a direct connection to the rhythms of congregation life again.

Sunday was more newsletter creation & then over to St. Mark's senior living in Austin in the afternoon for worship. Apparently the flu has finally been banished from that facility. It was nice to see many folks had returned to worship. The Gospel for the day was John, chapter 9. A really interesting text to explore! I love those folks and volunteers. Very much.

This time of year is all about #equippingcongregations2017 in my vocational life..it's almost time for the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly. The event is May 6-7...a month away. But all the materials go live April 3...less than a week! I won't get into it here but it is no small task. We're trying some new formats & layouts & communication approaches this year and everything is going live earlier than usual...so a lot of my days have been spent in Adobe InDesign lately. Even though there are a lot of moving pieces...worship, budget, resolutions, nominations, a Learning Event, etc...I find the whole process quite enjoyable...especially compared to how unenjoyable it was 3 years ago when I had just started and had NO CLUE what I was doing. Now compared to then makes now look like a giant hot fudge sundae. Yummy.

So...no complaints from me. It's a lot of work...but pretty exciting and energizing all in all.

I'm looking forward to the finished product coming together, and I hope it's engaging for folks. That's the goal - that people feel engaged and connected to each other, the wider church, and God. It has been fun to collaborate with tables, teams, committees and staff members on coming up with an effective strategy for assembly communications this year. Tonight I got to attend my first Reference and Counsel meeting. Even though I've been in the role for 3 years, there's more to learn every day. Every single day.

The rest of life...generally swell. Trying for 20 minutes of pilates a day. I got a variety of pilates DVDs from my beloved Rochester Public Library. It's fun to have some variety. And 20 minutes a day seems to be a very accessible amount of exercise for me. Also getting over to the gym for cardio/walking about 2-3 times a week and a couple walks with friends a week, too.

Home owning is a delight. The new place really feels like "home." It's a great fit, and I am excited for Finn and Justin to live here, too.

Family & friends are well. I downloaded a new birthday tracking app. Hopefully I can step-up my game! I'm REALLY looking forward to warmer weather and more walks around Silver Lake with pals. That is one of my favorite ways to catch-up and connect and be active at the same time.

The areas of life I'd like to give more attention...reading and volunteering! I've overextended a bit in other areas of life, and my reading has really taken a hit. I'd like to do a lot more reading, and I'm hoping that my reactivated Goodreads account will be an incentive to read and track books. I'm also listening to AudioBooks on the way to work and around town. Currently listening to this and on the last disc.

Oh yes...one more thing...our dear country and world. I'll be honest, I don't watch much news anymore. I don't have television at all in my new house; the antennae signal doesn't work here. I do have a radio, and I listen to MPR in the mornings. I also get the Rochester Post-Bulletin and at least skim through it each day. I tend to check Twitter before bed and New York Times 1-2 times a day for headlines. And I have friends and family who forward me good links to read. I think I'm finding a good balance between being aware and being emotionally well.

After the election, I was glued to the news and it wasn't good for my health. I was more negative, bitter, fearful, and nightmare-prone.  I am certainly still very concerned and I want to be an involved, thoughtful citizen, but I am no longer consumed every second. I've found a few organizations to financially support which feels good. There are some e-newsletters I receive that also provide meaningful food for thought (everything from resilience.org). I think the next step is to volunteer on a regular basis with an organization doing work that aligns the values I hold most dear. I'm still discerning where to direct those energies. Lately I am most drawn to environmental advocacy, supporting local economies, access to food/water, and advocating for refugees/immigrants. Justin and I recently had a talk about it, and we're hoping volunteering can be something we do together. My hope is to have a regular volunteering practice in place by early summertime.

So that's the scoop. I hope you are well and your heart is full of peace tonight.

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