Andi Voinovich's blog

Justice, Kindness, and Journeying Humbly

Change happens in so many ways and often change includes some discomfort and tension. Even when that change isn't a conflict, this can be the case. When I was going through my growth spurt as a child, I remember those uncomfortable moments when I would be in-between sizes. One size was a little too snug and I'd find myself constantly pulling at my clothes. The next size up would require adjustments in length or wouldn't look quite right either.

Cared For And Called

Would you be surprised if I told you that many of the longest and loudest conversations I have are in my head? Maybe you can empathize. My guess is some of you may share this experience, where our brains are constantly moving, constantly assessing every situation, and imagining 1,001 different ways in which we could engage with each moment and what the consequences of that engagement might be. This can be exhausting! And, if I'm honest, I wouldn't say these conversations increase my confidence with myself or the world I live in.

Finding the Star and Following it too

Happy New Year! How will you celebrate this weekend? Tis' the time for New Year's resolutions! Throughout your life, what kinds of resolutions have you made . . . and have you been able to keep them? It's always interesting to hear what goals people set for themselves this time of year. I wonder when I hear over and over again goals about getting to the gym or eating healthier if people make goals that matter to them or that they feel like they need to make to better be accepted by others.

Keep Awake

This Sunday, our 8th-grade confirmation students will learn about the Christian calendar and the different seasons and holidays we honor as a church. Sure, Christmas and Easter are quite familiar. My guess is that most if not all of our youth could give a brief explanation of these holidays. Ordinary Time, (our green season) is that which we spend most of the year in, yet it is less familiar, probably because it is, well, ordinary. Then there are the seasons of Lent and Advent, seasons of waiting and preparation.

Grateful

Being a human is complicated. Being in relationship with one another? Even more complicated. I have a favorite professor from seminary who also terrifies me a little bit! It's complex, but it's real. I'll never forget walking into her class for the first time with lots of anticipation. She was tough. This is what I heard over and over and over again. A few other friends were in this class and we planned on celebrating #NoTearsTuesdays when we made it through classes without crying. All of this had been thought out even before we'd gone through the syllabus with her!

To Sing Your Praise

Fall is here. We see it in the changing colors on the trees, in the brisk temperatures especially at night, and in the daylight ending a little earlier each and every day. I love fall. I love the colors, the smells, and the activities. Yet, I find myself getting more and more tired as light turns into darkness a little earlier each day. My body takes the darkness as a signal to sleep, to rest... but do I? Though nature is cyclical, journeying in seasons, often we resist these patterns and seek to continue producing and working, doing all of the things at the same pace always.

Where You Go, I Will Go

When you think about the organizations and activities you participate in, what are some of the most important factors for you? For me, without a doubt, community rises to the top. This is one of the many reasons I love the church. As a child, in many ways, the church raised me. Outside of my parents and school, people at church were those that I saw the most, and they more than saw me. They taught me about faith and serving others, nurtured my interests and talents, celebrated big moments in my life, and journeyed with me through the chaos.

A Heart Full of Hope and Presence of Praise

Have you ever been forced to do something you didn't want to do? I think about the youth I work with who lack autonomy in so many spaces. So much of their lives is not optional. Sometimes when we find ourselves in a space that is "mandatory" but not where we want to be, it is more than difficult to participate with any enthusiasm.

Welcome to the Rock

Fall is here and full schedules are back. I don't know about you, but sometimes summer, even though I'm no longer in school, feels like a sabbath from overscheduling. The sun is out and so are we, taking time to vacation, to play, and to rest. Then fall hits and school and regular programming restarts.

Together at the Table

When I was an undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University, I had one of the coolest jobs on campus! I worked as a student leadership assistant for the Center of Leadership, creating and facilitating leadership workshops and retreats for student organizations. I learned so much from this job, made friendships that continue to this day, and had unique opportunities because of that role.

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