May, 2008 Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church 630.279.5516 firstname.lastname@example.org I’ve been thinking a lot about moving lately. There are large empty boxes in my office, waiting to be filled with all the parish nurse stuff I’ve accumulated over the past 5 years. My work life feels a little chaotic and disorganized and I have a nagging unsettled feeling. It reminds me of the many moves that Clyde and I have made over the past 36 years – 8 in all – some cross town and many cross country. I remember the range of emotions that I experienced with each move – before and after. Before the move there was always an overwhelming feeling that this was going to be a lot of work. I wondered if I was up to the challenge. There was a nagging fear that I wouldn’t be able to adjust to new surroundings and people. As pictures came off the wall, dishes packed in boxes and furniture put on the truck – there was a silent sob that welled up – “Where is home?” But gradually there was a small part of me that began to anticipate the change. I wondered what the new place was going to feel like. I wondered how I could make it mine. I wondered what new opportunities would come. I realized that maybe I had gotten a little stuck in the comfort of familiar surroundings. I wondered if a new place and space could create new perspectives and fresh ways of doing things Once we actually made the move and settled in – the emotions caught up again. It took awhile since emotions are easily smothered when you stay busy. The emotion that often surfaced first was one of frustration – everything was changed – the silverware drawer was to the right of the dishwasher instead of to the left, the refrigerator door opened on the left instead of the right, the oven was smaller than the old one and I couldn’t find my scissors – who took my scissors? The everyday routine was turned upside down – life felt out of control and chaotic. And then there was the sense of loss – I couldn’t wake up in the morning to the call of that familiar bird, I couldn’t stand at my kitchen window and look at the cows in the pasture, I couldn’t take a walk with my best friend, I couldn’t sit in my favorite chair in my favorite spot looking at my favorite tree anymore. I couldn’t, I couldn’t, I couldn’t… Losses stacked up like those empty boxes waiting to be tossed. Adjustment came slowly, but there were glimpses of hope. Maybe this was going to be okay. Maybe this view out of my kitchen window wasn’t as good, but then maybe I just won’t spend so much time there anymore (we could eat out more! Yes!) Maybe the new view out my living room window could be just as restful as the old view – just different. In fact, maybe this new living room arrangement was better – maybe it would be more hospitable and conducive to conversation. Maybe I could knock on my new neighbor’s door and … Since I’ve moved so many times, there usually isn’t an emotion that surprises me, but with this last move there was a surprise. I had never really felt it before. When I started to actually enjoy my new home and surroundings, I felt a disturbing sense of being disloyal to the home I had left. It was an unsettling and uncomfortable feeling that I was teetering between two worlds and I couldn’t fully embrace either one. That one took some time and even now I feel a little guilty when I return to my previous home. Why do I bother to share this story? Because I think we all have to admit there is a very big change coming for us at ECRC. And it’s not going to go away – it’s coming and it’s coming soon. And we need to talk about it - how we are feeling, what we are thinking. We need to support each other, cry with each other, pray with each other, plan with each other, and celebrate with each other. And we need to remember one basic thing – God does not live in temples built by hands. The place where he lives is not in 905 S. Kent or 155 W Brush Hill Road. Saying goodbye to 905 S. Kent, is not saying goodbye to God’s house. We are God’s House – you and I. He lives in us. We are the church whether we worship at 905 S. Kent, at 155 W Brush Hill Road, whether we worship with guitars or organ, whether we volunteer to make prayer shawls or usher, whether we hammer nails in Nicaragua or mentor a Bridge family, whether we visit prisoners or work in the nursery, whether we bring a meal or study Scripture in a small group, We have the blessed opportunity to be part of this exciting community of believers who are committed to bringing love and grace to this specific place in the western suburbs of Chicago where God’s Kingdom moves forward. Did you miss the announcement about LINK (Love – Interact – Neighbor – Kneel)? If so, it’s not too late to get involved. Please read the information below and consider prayerfully how you might participate. LINK and Bridge Communities Bridge Communities is a grassroots, non-profit organization in DuPage County which provides transitional housing and other programs to those at risk of homelessness with a goal of self-sufficiency. We continue to partner with them to provide mentoring and financial assistance to a client family made up of a single mother and her two young children. Our initial commitment is through February, 2009. We believe that God has blessed our efforts to reach out to a family in need and we ask for your prayers as this relationship continues. We have been blessed in return. How Can You Help? We covet your prayers for our ministry. If you would like to financially support LINK, please consider donating to this program. LINK is not set up as a line item in the church budget. Checks can be written out to Elmhurst CRC, specifying LINK. If you are interested in being part of LINK or have any questions, please ask any one of the LINK committee members. For further information, please call Don Van Beek – 630-832-8954, Beth Rinsema – 630-279-5516 x219, or Ann Geenen - 630-834-8131.
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