Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

A Strange New World

I’m fully vaccinated and ready to reenter society. Or am I?

This week I realized that we needed light bulbs. Seems that was a non-essential during this past year of limited shopping. Then it dawned on me that I could just go to a store and buy what I needed. Wow. So, I decided to head to Home Depot and buy lightbulbs.

It was during this outing that I experienced what I was suspicious of, but not willing to admit – Covid Brain.

I bought my lightbulbs (and by the way, when did it become a prerequisite that you have a degree in physics to pick out a lightbulb?) and did the Self-Check Out option. I was unaccustomed to “checking out” other than clicking a button on my laptop so I had to think it through. Then my brain defaulted to its self-preservation mode and I scanned the area for hand sanitizer while trying not to touch my purse too much as I put my credit card back in my wallet. Habit.

Whew, I made it out alive and as I was driving out of the parking lot, I had a strange feeling something was awry. Then it hit me. My pre-pandemic, multitasking brain was calling from a distant land to let me know I had left my bag with the lightbulbs in it at the check-out.

I guess I need to ease my way back into shopping. Or do I?

With a year of the pandemic behind us and life beginning to come back to some semblance of normal, we have a decision to make. Just what are we going to allow back into our lives and what are we going to leave forever in the Covid scrapbook? What changes have God’s stamp marked on them?

We were talking about this at Well Time this week and many of us felt that a return to simplicity and slowed down thinking were things to bring into this new life. To be more purposeful and in the moment was another. A deeper appreciation for nature and how God speaks to us through creation is a keeper.  And the preciousness of family and community. There was a deeper desire to have really meaningful and life-giving connections with others.

One of our neighbors gifted us with a beautiful potted hyacinth for Easter. I put it in the windowsill in the sunshine for a couple days. Nothing seemed to be happening, no sign of growth. So, I set it outside yesterday and sure enough this morning it started unfolding. The storm yesterday provided what it needed to start the process of unfolding.

I think that’s what this pandemic has afforded us. This storm of life provided what we needed to start a new process of growth. Growth in our awareness of what is most precious in life. Growth in our dependence on a God that loves us and promises to care for us. Growth in appreciation for the magic of  creation all around us. Growth in our ability to just be.

Growth is challenging and can be unsettling. We need the comfort and support of others to keep moving forward in the process. The Truth Be Told video this week talks about the true definition of church as being the believers in community, caring for each other.  Find those others.

Then be gentle with yourself and them, as we all are unfolding into a strange new way of being.

And don’t forget your bag.

Joan

Truth Be Told Video – Session 3, Week 4

Truth Be Told
Session 3, Week 4
Being the Church in Community
Acts 1:12​-14 Of One Mind in Prayer
Acts 4:32​-37 Sharing Among Believers
Acts 6:1-7 The Commission of the Seven

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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