Greetings to you, United Christian Church of Austin friends! My name is Karen Cotton, and I’m serving as one of your Elders this year. As Kim Flores explained a couple of weeks ago, Elders serve by “assisting the pastor(s) in the care and spiritual nurture of the congregation.” We send cards and make phone calls, to help us stay in touch as a church family. (Of course, you don’t need to be an Elder in order to stay in touch with others in the church; Elders just work to ensure that EVERYONE knows they’re included, loved, and cared for by their church family.) We want you to know who we are so that if you need a call, or have a prayer concern, you know that you can contact one of your Elders, in addition to Rev. Anna.
A little more about me—my husband, Roy, and I moved to Austin in 2008, and have been members of The United Christian Church of Austin since 2014. We have two sons, two daughters-in-love, and three grandchildren, ages 7, almost 5, and 3.5. They are our sunshine! We are both retired from the workaday world, but seem to have no trouble filling our days at our home in Wells Branch.
During our quarantine year at home alone, I’ve done even more reading than usual. Contemplative Christian writings have sustained and enriched this very strange year in my life. The idea of the rhythm or cycle of life seems to be popping up in a variety of sources. For instance, the book A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, edited by Sarah Bessey, is divided into three parts: Orientation, Disorientation, and Reorientation. I can relate those stages to the last year or so of my life: 1) my life had a rhythm or schedule of sorts that kept me going; 2) that rhythm and schedule came to an abrupt and prolonged halt, so I tried to use the time to process “stuff;” 3) I can now see light at the end of the tunnel—I look forward to the time, hopefully not too far off, when I can hug and kiss those precious grandchildren again. There is indeed, a rhythm to our lives, both individually and communally. I accept that there will be times of disorientation in life, and look forward with hope and anticipation to a time of reorientation. See you there!
Grace and peace to you,