1. What took place in your home relations? Your work relations? Your church relations? What events in the larger community of city, country and world most captured your attention?
- David and I have had a very good year together. He has become the acknowledged minister for The Agape Meal on Thursday nights at his church which means that he gets to plan and lead worship, plus pastoral care. He feels like the pastor he is, and that's been so meaningful for him. (The Agape Meal is for people who are homeless.)...When I was hospitalized he was a true angel, helping me heal more quickly by making sure I felt loved and cared for....Deborah married Kevin -- a huge event for all of us. They missed Christmas with the family, though, by planning their honeymoon cruise over the Christmas holiday. We missed them, but they had a GREAT time....Katie has come through the most demanding semester EVER with flying colors. David and I are both so happy to see her mature and grow like she has. There's something just appealing about Katie -- her personality engages people -- and during this semester that was so trying, people in all aspects of her life stepped forward to share how much they love and respect her. It was beautiful to behold!!...My sister Susan taught me the meaning of family. I'm forever grateful to her.
- Work-wise, I ended my pastorate at First Congregational and began a new job as Assoc Pastor for Spiritual Life at Cathedral of Hope, a largely LGBT church. One of the fastest growing demographics at CoH is straight families that want their children to be raised in a diverse church with progressive theology. It's been amazingly meaningful to me to serve there. So grateful.
- Larger Community -- of course, the re-election of Barack Obama. Thank God for that. And the heart-wrenching shooting in Connecticut -- that continues to be painful for me.
2. What books and art instructed your mind and heart?
- I was struck with "The End of the Affair" by Graham Greene...what a complicated story about two people's love/hate relationship with God, how they both fought believing in God, but were ultimately convinced (at least she was) by love itself--its mystery and its power.
- We saw "Les Miserable" on Christmas Day -- I cried all the way through it...that story just touches on every aspect of life that is important. Love, Justice, Family, Courage, Faith, the list is endless. It was so intense for me, though, that I doubt whether I'll see it again any time soon.
3. Did you make any new discoveries about yourself?
I did. I guess part of the effect of years of therapy was that I've thought of myself as "good person" for many years now. This year it was brought home to me that I'm a mixture of good and not--so-good. I can be horribly self-centered. And I've hurt those closest to me, terribly. Forgiveness has been their gift to me.
4. What was your greatest joy in this year gone? What was your greatest sorrow?
- My greatest joy has been truly recognizing the depth of David's love for me. Not just because he was so attentive during my hospitalization, but in a number of other areas as well. My TRUST has increased several-fold. When I think about my husband, JOY is there.
5. How do you want to create the new year?
- I want to lose weight. I received test results from my doctor indicating that I'm just over the normal range for diabetes. Of course, I know Prednisone raises blood sugar levels, but I also know that I don't exercise enough, so I need to take this seriously.
- I want to read more and STOP playing "word ace" on my phone. I can follow David's example here...he read over 80 books this year.
- I'm over-committed until the end of May--two huge responsibilities tacked on to my regular job. Those commitments are made, but beginning in June, I want to make sure I have some real Sabbath time each week.
6. Who are the people with whom you would like to deepen your relationships in the year to come?
I'd like to continue renewing my friendship with Anne.