Anna Voinovich's blog

People of Faith, People of Action

Recently, Pastor Claude and I have received a multitude of  requests for weddings in the church. It's an exciting time! In preparing for these weddings, I'm taking a training on Prepare/Enrich, a helpful tool for pre-marital counseling. Prepare/Enrich emphasizes the importance of communication in a relationship. This makes sense! So many relationships start AND end because of communication. Sometimes we think we're expressing something clearly, but the message received is not what we thought we'd sent. 

Compass for the Heart

When I was in college, I worked as a Student Leadership Assistant in our Center for Leadership creating and facilitating leadership workshops and conferences for students on campus. Often we'd get requests from on campus groups seeking to update their mission and vision statements. 

Carol On For Christmas

Although December 25 has come and passed and you may be tempted to put all of the Christmas decorations away, to stop singing carols, and to move on to the next holiday, wait! There's more! Did you know that for Christians, Christmas is not just a day, but a season? Christmastide continues until Epiphany on January 6. Next Sunday, we'll continue to "Carol On" for Christmas!

Rendered Silent

In college when I moved into an apartment for the first time, one of the things I was most excited about was having a kitchen. What I quickly learned was that cooking was much easier for me than baking. With cooking, you could ad lib, play with ingredients, make replacements easily, but with baking, every time I tried to play or experiment, it completely flopped.

Transformation: Beauty and Goop

I've always been fascinated by the lessons we have to learn from the patterns of nature! This week in worship as we celebrate Children's Sabbath, our lesson comes from Romans, and from butterflies. Butterflies are beloved, colorful creatures. In the Christian faith they symbolize resurrection, and for many they are a sign of hope and beauty. But those beautiful, winged creatures don't always look like the ones we love to see in gardens. They transition and process from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly.

No Turning Back

This past week I  had the opportunity to go to Church Camp at Wesley Woods with many from our church and community. There was swimming, singing, Bible study, and so much more! Throughout each day we got to try a variety of different activities. There was action everywhere I looked: tie dying, paddle boating, chalk drawings, dancing. Children, youth, and adults alike were enjoying all that camp had to offer.

How to Say Goodbye

When he had gone out, Jesus said,
"Now the Son of Man has been glorified,
and God has been glorified in him.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself
and will glorify him at once.
Little children, I am with you only a little longer.
You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews
so now I say to you, 'Where I am going,
you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another. Just as I have loved you,
you also should love one another.

Today, Tomorrow, and the Next Day

What is your biggest fear? What is the thing that keeps you up at night? Have you ever been so afraid that you became paralyzed, unable to respond to the situation in front of you? At some point or another, each of us grapples with fear. Sometimes it's the small stuff that we know we shouldn't sweat so much. Other times, our fear is so vivid - so real - that it can consume us, keeping from speaking and acting as we normally would.

One and Many

One of my favorite theologians, church leaders, and all together world changers is Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I believe his anti-apartheid work changed the course of history and helped make possible a future of togetherness in South Africa and beyond that was highly unlikely. Much of what he does and who he is is influenced by Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a philosophy, a way of life, acknowledging that "I am who I am because of who you are." Ubuntu celebrates and acknowledges the way that our humanity is intertwined.

Christ Reigns

Power. Authority. Rules. For many, it's hard to think objectively about any of these words. Our experience with each impacts how we respond when we talk about them. As people who are members of communities from families to congregations to workplaces, we navigate power, authority, and rules each and every day of our lives. Who has authority in your life and how did they get it? Is that authority based on title? Is it based on action? What positions of authority do you hold and how do you feel about them?

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