By The Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom

Intention, our January theme, is somewhere on the road between hope and commitment—it is not quite a goal, not quite a plan, and yet more than a vague hoping. Intention involves the yearning of hope mixed in with the beginnings of commitment, but perhaps intention leaves open space for change. Unlike a goal, with its can-be-controlling specifics, intentions align the heart’s hopes with the momentary turns of the winding road. When I imagine intentions that liberate rather than constrain, inspire rather than control, that instigate rather than dictate, I wonder:

What is the intention in joy?

What is the intention in curiosity?

What is the intention in openness?

Personally, what does your soul long for this year? What personal intentions do you have, not in the busy project of self-improvement, but rather in your heart’s calling into depth? What would it feel like to clear anything standing in the way of that calling, if only for a moment, to hear the fullness of your heart’s song for you? What about your family? What do you need together?

At church, personal intentions can align with community intentions. In January, the Board will be weaving together the many individual hopes and dreams of First Church members into discernable patterns, collective intentions for where we want to go together as a community. These collective intentions, called Ends, will steer our ministry together in First Church for the next 3 – 5 years. Those shared intentions will also bring us together outside the church walls for collaboration in the community. The Krug bequest Gifts Acceptance Team will also follow the Ends’ intentions in allocating a portion of the Krug bequest, in accordance with the Board’s policy on bequest allocation.

This month, we also  have the joy of enthusiastically welcoming the Rev. Dena back from her sabbatical. I am eager to witness all she will bring to her ministry at First Church from her time in rest, reflection, and renewal, and weaving it with the congregation’s intentions in this season of seeding and renewal.

Intention is like stringing a bow and arrow, drawing the bow with all your strength, and then letting the arrow fly.

Or maybe intention is more like dropping a bucket down a deep well and drawing up fresh water.

Or maybe intention is more like striking a match on flint and moving it to a pyramid of dry kindling.

Or maybe intention is more like a breeze catching a leaf and setting it to dance.

I look forward to exploring and setting intentions with you.



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