Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Beginnings

Written by Jessica Zimmerle
Outreach Coordinator for Earth Ministry 
Dear friends,

Change is an inevitable reality of life.  Although it is embedded in every second of our existence, acceptance of this reality is a challenge that many of us struggle with.  Whether it be letting go of the past, adjusting to a new routine, or working towards positive change in our world; dealing with change is no small task.

Does change have to be a monster breathing down our back? Or can we reconstrue it as a blessing in itself?  Let's take a minute to imagine life without change.  We would go through the movements of a monotonous daily routine, work and socialize with the same people, and stay in familiar places.  Our communities would lack any environmental, social, political, or technological progress.  Life would be stagnant. 

If this was the case we would all be craving change like chocolate.  The truth is that, no matter how daunting it may be, we need change.  It fuels our lives by introducing a spark of adventure into all that we do.  A helpful reminder is that "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" (as so gracefully stated in the classic 90's song "Closing Time").  A refreshing oppurtunity for new beginnings is only possible through change and letting go of what once was the norm. 

Earth Ministry does a fantastic job of embodying the cyclical nature of change.  As you many know, our Outreach Coordinator position is staffed by a yearlong member of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps.  I am thrilled to step into this role and join the Earth Ministry team to work for faith-based environmental change in our region.  Our current campaigns to halt coal exportation, regulate toxins in children's products, and protect public lands are the types of change that our planet and communities desperately need.  This type of large-scale change is daunting, yet it is an important component of our calling to work for justice and responsible stewardship of the natural world.

Viewing change as a gift is something that I am working to embrace in this time of transition in my own life.  I am a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran University where I received a degree in environmental studies.  My time at PLU really helped me develop a sense of vocation and foster my passion for environmental activism.  I must admit it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that I actually graduated and am not returning, but this is a prime example of the essence of change.  It is time to move on to my own new beginning.

So let's take a moment to praise the Lord for all of the beautiful changes that color our lives.  No matter how challenging change may be, life would be pretty dull without it!

Here's to new beginnings!

~ Jessica

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