Andi Voinovich's blog

Is This the Time?

There are places, spaces, and people that absolutely change our lives. For me, college was one of those spaces. I loved my time at Bowling Green State University. My dad likes to talk about when we were leaving after graduation. As we drove away, I was in tears. My dad turned to me and asked, "Are those happy tears?" My answer was "no."

Do Everything With Love

Throughout our lives, there are important milestones that mark momentous occasions. Can you think of any of the major ones from your life? Maybe it was a Sweet Sixteen or Quinceañera. Maybe it was a wedding or the first time you drove a car, at graduation, or watched a child take their first steps. Within the Christian tradition, there are also a variety of milestones. For some denominations, a child may engage in education and a particular ritual as they prepare for their First Communion at a certain age.

The Agape League

It is an exciting season in the church! Two weeks ago we celebrated Easter. Last week the bells rang out their witness through the sanctuary. This week, we have the Children's Cantata, and then comes Confirmation Sunday and the Chancel Choir Cantata. In some ways, this is a shake up for us and the way we usually do worship. This month we are invited to worship in ways that don't follow our traditional structure and order. And you know what? I think that's great!

Quaking into a New World

Holy Week is upon us! Together, we gather in worship Thursday, Friday, and Sunday as we journey with Jesus to and from the cross toward resurrection. Yesterday, we honored Maundy Thursday by washing each other's hands and honoring Christ's celebration of service. Today with worship leadership from our Chancel Choir, we gather around the cross and mourn as Jesus dies. All of this happens in one week as we make it to Sunday - to Easter.

Roll Away the Stone

"She's in a better place." Have you ever been on the receiving end of these words after a loved one has died? Maybe it brought you comfort, or maybe you, like me, found anything but that in this response. Why couldn't this world have been a good place? What does it mean that "a better place" is away from loved ones? The power of grief is significant, particularly in the face of early, unexpected, and/or tragic loss. Each of us processes these losses differently, but grief is normal. Grief is a healthy response. It can also be maddening and devastating.

Beyond Our Wildest Imagination

Usually, I'm a team player and am willing to try new things. Every now and then though, I am reminded of my boundaries and limits. When I was in college, I worked in the Center for Leadership. I created and facilitated workshops and retreats on different aspects of leadership with a team of other students for various student groups on campus. I loved this job! When I started, we had a week-long training before we got to work. So much of it was meaningful. We went over different leadership theories, over the mission and vision of our center, we built relationships, and more.

Tempted

What are those things in life that you had to memorize and recite? For many, there's the "Pledge of Allegiance." Often students in schools start their day off reciting this. For Christians, there's The Lord's Prayer which we say every week. Maybe you are in Scouts or another group that has a law or oath that you state at every meeting. You might not have it memorized, but if you are in worship on the first Sunday of the month, you're probably pretty familiar with the communion liturgy. As Methodists, we participate in communion at least once a month because it is sacred.

Need, Want, and Learning the Way

Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have some truly incredible teachers. Each of these teachers had their own gifts. My elementary music school teacher? So very fun and able to connect with children in a way that had us all wanting to participate. My critical thinking professor in college? He cared enough to see the talents and needs of each student and support them in living out their potential, and through personal crises. My seminary Old Testament professor?

Justice, Kindness, and Journeying Humbly

Change happens in so many ways and often change includes some discomfort and tension. Even when that change isn't a conflict, this can be the case. When I was going through my growth spurt as a child, I remember those uncomfortable moments when I would be in-between sizes. One size was a little too snug and I'd find myself constantly pulling at my clothes. The next size up would require adjustments in length or wouldn't look quite right either.

Cared For And Called

Would you be surprised if I told you that many of the longest and loudest conversations I have are in my head? Maybe you can empathize. My guess is some of you may share this experience, where our brains are constantly moving, constantly assessing every situation, and imagining 1,001 different ways in which we could engage with each moment and what the consequences of that engagement might be. This can be exhausting! And, if I'm honest, I wouldn't say these conversations increase my confidence with myself or the world I live in.

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