Rachel LonbergDear Ones,

It fills me with joy to be writing the first of many newsletter columns as the minister of People’s Church. It is hard to put into words how happy I am to be a part of your congregation and how happy my husband Brian and I are to be in Kalamazoo. I wake up nearly every day excited for the new life and new ministry we are embarking on.

Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield has a beautifully titled book called After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, about how the spiritual life is one of constant flux between enlightenment and mundaneness. It comes to mind   as I write this column. I could go on about my deep gladness and my profound sense of being in the right place, but other, practical matters are more pressing.

As I begin my work as your minister there are a number of things I want to tell you.

Thank You! Thank you to those of you who helped us settle in during our first week here—bringing food, helping us unpack, and holding baby DeForest so we could unpack. Thank you to all of you who have made me feel welcome in conversation, during meetings, over email, and via Facebook. Thank you to all of you who braved an unairconditioned Commons to attend the first worship service that I led.

Contact Information: You can reach me by phone at the church. I’m at extension 11. Soon, I’m hoping to have a local cell phone number. (My provider doesn’t have any 269 numbers available currently.) In the meantime, my cell phone number is 206-335-0569. I’ll let you know when I have a new number. My email address is minister@peopleschurch.net. My cell number or email are the best ways to reach me.

My Work Schedule and Day Off: My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3pm and Wednesdays from 12 to 4pm. I am also available at other times. If you want to meet with me, contact me and we’ll set up an appointment. On Fridays,     I plan to work from home, reading, writing, and preparing sermons. I plan to take Mondays off. This all might change in a few months, as I learn the rhythms and routines of the congregation and as Brian starts working. I will be sure to publicize any changes.

Social Media: I am on Facebook. Quite a few of you have already found me and friended me. I welcome that. I enjoy catching glimpses of your lives beyond the church. My personal policy is to accept all friend requests from congregants, but not to ask you all to be my Facebook friends. Not everyone wants their minister to see what they post on Facebook—and that’s just fine. If you’d like me to see what you post and to see my postings (the vast majority of which are pictures of my son), send me a friend request.

I think those are all the details that need to be communicated right now.

 

See you in church,

Rachel

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