Reflection for a new year:
As 2012 comes to a close and we anticipate a new year, it is pretty normal to simultaneously look forward and to look back. We make resolutions about our plans for the year and we take inventories of what this past year was like. The sacred scriptures give me of feeling of past, present and future and reassure me of God's presence across time and space.
Very soon in January we will read in the New Testament lectionary texts about Jesus' circumcision, his naming and his dedication at the Temple. These are the ordinary things of life Jesus and his parents - very much like us and our parents - emphasizes the importance of ritual in our lives. We are reassured by this past event.
From the Hebrew scriptures we will hear Isaiah declare: "Your light has come. He's here. The possibility of salvation is born in the Christ child." Again we are reassured - this time in the present here and now. Emmanuel: God with us. Now!
And we will hear John's great vision of newness that is full of the promise of good things ahead. We will again be reassured of a future sense of God presence. In reference to this scripture, theologian Walter Wink wrote an article entitled: "Without a Vision the People Perish". He said, "Scripture offers us a vision of what the future might be. Our calling is to live, pray, and work toward making it a reality."
Past, present, and future -
We live them all in varying degrees - at the same time. The fullness of who we are is linked to how well we embrace where we come from, what we do at this moment and what our dreams and visions might be.
May 2013 be filled with Hope and Peace and Joy and Love!
God Bless Us - Every One!
The Rev. Dr. Deborah E. Roof
After 19 years of teaching French and Spanish for a living, Pastor Deborah could no longer resist God's coaxing and went to seminary. She began seminary training without a denomination - only a conviction that she was called to preach the love of God. Pastor Deborah grew up Methodist and spent 14 years as a Presbyterian. As an openly gay person in the late 90's these denominations were not open to her calling and she was led to the United Church of Christ. God has an amazing sense of humor however because she was ironically denied a Field Education experience at a UCC church because of her sexuality and ended up at South Presbyterian Church in Rochester where she joyfully served as student intern the first year and then Assistant to the Pastor when this Pastor was on maternity leave.
Pastor Deborah graduated from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School with the Master of Divinity in May 2003 and then served as a Resident Chaplain (CPE) at Strong Memorial Hospital for the next 12 months. In the summer of 2004 she was called to serve as a second Interim at Mountain Rise United Church of Christ. In November, she was called as Pastor to the Lakeville United Church of Christ, where she served joyfully for 7 and a half years. In 2009 Pastor Deborah graduated from Chicago Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching.
In 2012 God's spirit stirred within her to seek the Intentional Interim Training. Lo and behold! Pastor Deborah returns once again to PCUSA. She wrote this in her letter to the congregation: "(Downtown) has been for me the epitome of the "light on the hill"! I am so honored to walk with you on this leg of your journey of faith! Let us break the bread of justice and ministry together these next few months and let us allow God to disturb and surprise us in amazing ways!"