Monday, August 17, 2015

Three things you need to know about me

There are a few things you should probably know about me.

1. It is necessary for me to be creative.
2. Relationships born and fostered in community are my life-blood.
3. Serving God in the Church is my long-standing vocation.

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1. Creativity

"31 he (God) has filled him with divine spirit,[a] with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft," Exodus 35:31

Perhaps it's because I grew up in a rural community in North Western Pennsylvania where I had time and space to play or the fact that my family valued music, art and reading; but I love to create. While some folks may designate a specific hobby or art medium they prefer to work with; I love to choose from a varied array of subjects to engage in creative process. From cooking to painting or singing to writing; creating beautiful things to taste, touch and view is a hobby and focus that gives my life, well, life. Part of what I feel God has called me to is using my creative abilities to encourage others to use their gifts too!

2. Community Relationships:

 "Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[a] do not claim to be wiser than you are." Romans 12:16

My children and husband would be the first to tell you that going grocery shopping at home is not just about filling the fridge back up. For me, going to the grocery store is a social event. Having lived in Chautauqua County for over twenty years as well as working in various ministries within the community has a way of helping a person get to know a community and the people that live there. While all of the visiting can make getting groceries rather time consuming, it is a joy to see and speak with people that I share life with. Some I've worked with, worshiped with or just know from shopping at the store; but sharing life and relationships is important to me. Community relationships and family relationships have a way of reminding me that life is not just about me. Life is about who we are as community - together. Living together in any community group is not easy, but God has called us to serve each other in the communities we have be placed. We are called to "Grow where we are planted" and with God's help community spirit and healthy relationships can take root and grow strong.

3. Church: 

" For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function,  so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of  another." Romans 12:4-5

Over the last 20+ years I have served the Church in three different denominations (Salvation Army. The Presbyterian Church of the USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America). Much of my background is in youth and family ministry, but in the last ten years of so I've gain more and more experience in Pastoral ministry and seminary education - and this is the point this journey has brought me to serve as Vicar at the Lutheran Parish of the Tonawanda's.

If it's possible, I usually can find a way to combine my three favorite "C's". To be honest, I feel that when creativity and community are combined with the church - that is where faith, life and hope can be found. As Romans 12:4-5 points to the unique gifts each person holds, I challenge you to consider what your own gifts might be? We all have gifts to share.

What would you like to share?
What is important to you?
What are your three "C's"?

In God's Grace,

Vicar Tara

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