Time For A Change

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries & All Things Bright and Beautiful

March is most definitely a month filled with changes: the seasonal change from winter to spring, the liturgical calendar change from Epiphany to Lent, we begin daylight savings time, and in my family there are several birthdays.

More than any other year in recent memory, I am so looking forward to hopeful signs of spring. It officially arrives on March 20 at 11:57 a.m. CDT.  The following day, the first full day of spring, we'll celebrate my younger daughter's birthday. Having lived in the Midwest my entire life, I'm accustomed to cold and snow. This winter, however, there seemed to be a never-ending dose of both. Having to close the preschool on four days was a first in my tenure here. On the bitter cold days that we could get the children here, it was still impossible to play outside which made for some challenging times.  Children need to move about and when we can't be on the playground, it makes a difference. I'm still pondering how I can build a gymnasium on the premises........?

We will begin the liturgical season of Lent with the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on March 4. This is always a great event with Jr. High School and High School students facilitating the preparation and serving of the meal, the little ones coloring the Alleluias to be buried in the undercroft, and families coming together in fellowship.

On the first Sunday of Lent, the Junior Kindergarten students from All Things Bright and Beautiful will present the bread at the offertory, having made it with Pastor Heath and Bill Haljun the week  before.  This is also the day that we change to daylight savings time.  Although the "spring ahead" change of the clocks means one less hour of sleep for that day, the extra daylight, in my opinion, is well worth it!

As I write this March article about change, I'd like to offer some suggestions for some possible changes in your usual routine.  Why not make an extra effort to connect with this community in a way you have never tried before? Our Time for Women group meets monthly at various restaurants in the area and brings together a multi-generational group for caring conversations over dinner. Fr. Hardman's Wednesday study class is thought-provoking and open to all as is his Reel Spirituality series during Lent.  Come to an Adult Forum after the 9:00 - even if you haven't been all year.

My older daughter shared a comment with me recently that I love.  While contemplating a significant decision, she said: "mom, I'm just comfortable and I could spend the next five years doing exactly what I am doing now." She used the word "complacent". Not that complacent is necessarily a bad thing but it doesn't suggest a lot of energy either. This is my daughter who said a few years out of college - "I miss studying!" Clearly she has her father's genes. But her point was that being complacent would not stretch her beyond her comfort zone. And for her, that is not how she chooses to live her life. I accepted that as a personal challenge to step outside my comfort zone to contribute to or participate in something out of my usual routine. I challenge you to do the same.

It's time for a change!