This has been a year of some changes in our family and in the ways I have been called to be a part of the loving and compassionate movements of God in the world. Our family has grown with a new son in law and a new granddaughter. We now have four grandchildren and lend a hand in helping with them when and where we are able. Our middle daughter has spent the year in treatment for an aggressive breast cancer. The journey has been long and difficult for all. She is nearing the end of treatment with radiation therapy and one more surgery. The abundant mercies of God have sustained us throughout, and the future is full of possibility for her.
We also decided it was time to modify our outreach to women trapped in sex trafficking. Gentrification of the area and changes in policing in the neighborhood has scattered the women, making it difficult for us to encounter them in the way we had in the past. I do miss meeting new women and keeping up with our long time friends on the street. We have put on hold our street outreach and are partnering with a day center for the women in the area.
I have been serving at Saint Luke’s United Methodist Spiritual Life Center as the facilitator of a Mindfulness Community that meets weekly. I also partnered with some others to re-start a monthly Taize service and Fifth Monday Labyrinth Walks. The church has a new labyrinth painted on the corner of the parking lot as well at a lovely fold out labyrinth that fits well in the fellowship hall for Mondays with inclement weather. I also helped write some materials for the Lenten Stations of the Cross. What a wonderful experience it was to work with some young women artists to design stations that were so meaningful for the congregation. I will soon be starting a book study on Cynthia Bourgeault’s book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening. For Advent we are planning a Meditation Room to be available between the worship services as “A Quiet Chamber Kept for Thee.”
As for my own continuing spiritual growth I am near completing “The Wisdom School” with the Center for Action and Contemplation. It has been a transforming experience.
As usual I continue much reading and meditation.
May God bless the peace and justice work you do at Christ UMC for the breaking in of the Realm of God we know through Jesus the Christ.
Grace and peace,
Reverend H. Janet Tiebert