Comments on the July 16th service, by Annie Johnson:
On July 16th (two Sunday’s ago) Elizabeth Valencia shared her experiences Crossing Borders and Crossing Back. She says in her program description that “we speak of stepping outside of our comfort zones and going beyond ourselves. How does crossing borders alter life, though? And what can crossing back into spaces we thought we left for good do for us as individuals and for our community that includes people of color and religious diversity?”
She shared with us about crossing from her Catholic faith to become a Muslim and wearing the head scarf at 14, and then taking off the scarf two years ago. And she talked about several other boundaries, including her need to talk with her father about some uncomfortable family issues. Her driver’s license was about to expire and she didn’t have the credentials to get it renewed, and the family issues were entangled with getting the necessary credentials. And the results of all of these crossings, which produced discomfort as, and often before, she approached them, were not the negative experiences that she expected and that had made her hesitant, but positive experiences for herself and those around her.
All of this made me think about the things that I sometimes hesitate to do, and that I know others in the congregation also hesitate about. Volunteering with Family Promise I hesitated about, but was a boundary I eventually crossed, and it was a great experience. I know many of you hesitate to come help out when we do outreach at the Fair on the Square, the Avon Heritage Festival and the Quaker Days Festival. I and several others can speak from personal experience to the great fun we have and the interesting people we meet at the fairs. If you have never helped out with Christmas Dinner, it presents another opportunity to cross a boundary and defeat another fear while developing camaraderie in a common effort. You meet people who are struggling but also so grateful for your efforts. And there are opportunities to get involved with Worship – read a chalice lighting, offer a reading, or even volunteer to be a worship associate. Some of us are working to revive RE, and we can always use some extra help! Or write an article for the newsletter and bring you own challenge and inspiration to our members and friends!
Crossing boundaries, while often an emotional challenge, is a rewarding activity that can greatly enrich your life! Find some boundaries to cross; go ahead and try some things that make you a bit uncomfortable, at church or in other parts of your life, and watch yourself, and often those around you, grow and come alive!