My life has been a delight! And I thank God for that. I had a warm and loving up-bringing with a wonderful family – Mom, Dad and a brother, Herb, whom I just visited this week in Chicago. Growing up with a great appreciation of nature and family involvement in our church contributed a great deal to my journey after I left home.
My early summers were spent in Michigan living with my maternal grandparents. That is where I came to love the woods and the water, trees and flowers, the moon and the stars. An Aunt took me on walks in the woods over to lake Michigan – pointing out signs of wild life, identifying birds, gathering fungus to write on when we got home. I was aware that God was the Creator of all that I was seeing and learning.
And then there was Camp Miniwanca. It too was in Michigan and had a huge influence on my journey. I think of it warmly and a huge gift to me in my growing up! As I grew older it was wonderful to tell my parents how important it was to me, and needless to say, that pleased them. Miniwanca challenged campers with I DARE YOU to STAND TALL – THINK TALL – SMILE TALL -BE TALL!!! And to live our lives in a Four-fold way of life, balanced MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, RELIGIOUSLY AND SOCIALLY. (hold up the emblem) MPRS! Think about it….isn’t that good advice for 12 – 14 year olds? Wadjepi, my Christian Ideals leader, was a huge influence for my teen-age years! I have little idea now of what we talked about except that his very being had a positive effect on my life, and I know that he believed that God gave us this magnificent world to enjoy and to care for, and that Christ gave us the example of a exemplary way to live our lives.
A lot went on in my journey through high school, college, working, marriage, and children….and then…..
In 1965 we came to WCUC….a good number of years after Michigan! And here is where I began to think more about my faith. Being a Deacon several times, serving communion, running Adult Ed with Forster Freeman which opened up the participatory and bonding experience with others on the journey, all deepened my understanding of a faith to live by and to share with others. Both Julia Freeman and Jim Keck helped me in obtaining access to my inner self through meditating, expressive arts, movement and prayer….I was open for change….
This Church with its wonderful Covenant that Hannah read this morning – its warmth and caring – its openness to change – its acceptance of diversity – its participation together – Christians, on a journey, living and learning together – has influenced my journey in so many ways. I know that Jesus and God are here with me and with all of you. This Church has been here for me in the past – in the present – and I’m sure will be in the future. I give thanks, and I pray that I may continue to learn and share with all of you as my journey continues to unfold.