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Image by Peter Steiner 🇨🇭
Pastor's Corner

Staff Speaks - Summer 2024

Hear from our Staff about our summer theme and other updates

 
Music Team on Easter Sunday

 

Macy Whitesell

This season has been one of unraveling everything. I decided late last year that this would be my last year teaching, and in March my dad passed away. Those things, along with a myriad of other personal changes, revelations, and obstacles, have made me essentially stop and reflect on what is important to me. I've learned that ignoring your own needs only makes them demand to be felt.


So, when my teaching job is over, I'll be first taking time to intentionally unravel. I have plans to spend a week in bed and feel all the emotions that have had to take a backseat. Then I'm going to start slow, take my time, and start rebuilding a life that is meaningful to me.


Macy 


 

Eric Whitesell

I just started a new full time job, and my degree is already proving useful! 


I now work as a Project Consultant for Czar Press - a letterpress printing business in Irvine. I process print jobs and prep clients' artwork to print. It's been very fun so far, I've learned so many things about wedding invitations and paper. 


Eric's work area

I've never had a 9-5 job before, and I've never had a desk (let alone a chair). My coworkers and boss all seem very nice, and we have an espresso machine in the shop.


I'm excited to share more about my job as I learn more!








 

Seton Fogel


Now that I am reaching the end of my college career, I find my life unraveling in quite a few ways. It feels as though as I move forward, my path grows wider and wider, which gives me the space to explore, but at times makes me feel a bit lost. I hope to go to Cal State Long Beach this fall to acquire a teaching credential.


I’m at a point where I’m not quite sure what my future holds, but I know that God will guide me. I feel God’s work while I learn, because I realize how privileged I am to live here and have an education like the one I have had for the last 4 years. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life, and I am happy that Harbor will be by my side while I unravel to a deeper layer.


Best,

Seton Fogel


 

Maks Miner

This season has brought a lot of new changes, it definitely feels like my life has been following the unraveling theme.

The house I was living in was very old and had begun sinking until the floor was completely uneven. We ended up having to move out on short notice. It was difficult because both me and my brother who lives with me had come to love that house. It was a refuge for us, a place where we were both able to heal and rest.


I struggle with accepting change, so the process of moving quickly was incredibly overwhelming. I was lucky to have friends and family support me, and we just finished moving. During the whole time, I felt unsettled almost anywhere I went. The one exception was coming to Harbor on Sundays. Even just walking into the building felt stabilizing, like my body knew it could rest here. Spending a few hours listening to music and being with the kids seemed to reset my whole self.


Things are still coming together, and it's often difficult to remind myself that I have to let them happen, instead of trying to force them myself. I am getting used to resting in uncertainty, and I’m grateful to have places like Harbor that make that possible.

And, as a very happy update, my brother adopted a little kitten! She is the cutest, tiniest thing, and we have both had a lot of fun getting to know her and playing with her. I’ve gotten a lot of kitten cuddles!



 

Lauren Graham

This season I have been learning to honor that I am sacred. My health, my needs, my dreams and even my limits are all sacred. So how do I shape my life to support this refound truth? I am starting with my nutritional needs. I have a current agreement to simply go to the kitchen when I am hungry instead of getting the convenient meal or delivery. What I have noticed so far is that as much as my mind resists because change is hard, my body has started to show its appreciation for this intentional point of care. Slowing down, taking time to prepare myself food is my current sacred practice. 


I have slowly been unraveling long held beliefs about myself such as I'm not a good cook, I don't have time, cooking takes too much thinking, I always waste more food. By slowing down and testing these ideas with a lot of grace and tenderness to myself, these long-held beliefs have shifted:

  • I'm not a good cook > you didn't grow up in a cooking household, you can learn now

  • I don't have time > you haven't given this time, learning curve will be slow then it will go fast

  • Cooking requires too much thinking > at first, then you will build a go-to meal list

  • I always waste more food > you don't have systems in place yet


Fridge Hack: Huge help to my kitchen experience has been rearranging my fridge to something that works for me. Sharing here to see if it may work for you - move the


  1. Condiments that usually go in the side of the door to the shelves/ deep in the fridge

  2. Move all fresh food and produce in their place (the side door) so you always have the quick to rot items right there and easily accessible fruit and veggie snack options instead of fridge digging

  3. Keep drawers empty except for canned drinks, bottles etc.

  4. Use shelves for all else in whatever works


This has made a world of difference for me and my anxiety around decision making and keeping up with my grocery purchases so they go into my body as intended and not the compost. Credit to @thecenteredlifeco


Before this, my culinary skills extended to charcuterie boards, enhanced box mac and cheese and customized top ramen. I have asked community members to think on any recipes to share and cook with me over the summer - I am open for any and all kitchen experiences! 


A few photos of recent meals:



 

Justin Wright

I don’t have any personal moments I would like to share at this time but I do have a few thoughts. Maybe you can relate.


What is the unraveling? When things don’t go as planned and life changes in unexpected ways. I think most of us initially begin to feel restless, maybe anxious and unnerved. Maybe we’re discovering that we’re not quite who we thought we were, or the job we were excited about fell through, or a family member or friend has fallen ill. Our lives are full of unravelings. Maybe the unraveling is small and quiet.


Perhaps you’ve found a new hobby, or a glimpse of interest into something that before you could not even imagine yourself investing time into. You change. Perhaps you unravel into love when a child gives you an unexpected gift, or you’ve hit a milestone with a loving partner and there’s nothing you can do to hold back the unraveling of ourselves into our joys and passions. I think it’s easy to shy away from or to blunt the experience of parts of our lives unraveling. It is uncomfortable. Scary. It’s too easy to distract ourselves. TO not pay attention to the multitudes of the experience. Even the positive experiences can be disruptive and land us unsteadily on our feet. As Sadie mentioned in her sermon the other week, we are constantly expanding and contracting, shifting and changing, sometimes flowing like a river, or being changed slowly over time like the pebble on the riverbed, never quite standing in the same spot twice. But these moments of change in between the mundane and steady, when it feels like life has been swept out from under us, can be the moments that define our lives and connect us most deeply with God, people, and life. 


Maybe these unravelings are the moments when we can most easily co-create and shift with God. Maybe these are the moments when we have the greatest opportunity to redefine our relationships with one another and our communities and ourselves. One of the best gifts I think we have instilled in our humanity is our ability to adapt and to change. We are resilient beings and our willingness to sit in the unraveling and allow ourselves to be changed by our experience can create inside of us a deep well of grace and compassion.


Grace that has sprung out from love, beauty and the preciousness of life, and compassion that is revealed to us in the breaking of ourselves or the world and the unbelievable devastation that we as a whole inflict upon ourselves and others. No matter where it comes from, change happens.

I imagine the disciples felt an unraveling when they were first asked to follow Christ. Truly, someone asking you to walk away from an entire life you’ve made for yourself and from who you think you are is almost ludicrous. There are fewer changes in life that cause more unraveling than that. I imagine also when first witnessing a miracle, the sense of awe and fear that was likely coursing through them and the grief and pure sorrow they must have felt witnessing someone you deeply love be killed by the state.


This is where God meets us. In the moments out of our control, with our humanity exposed. Showing us there is a different way to move, to live, to love and to be with one another and that the choice is ours to make. 


 

Thank you for reading!


To continue reading our 2024 Summer Newsletter in the recommended reading order, please click on the next post shown below in the Related Posts section.
 

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