Being human means we must accept change as a part of life. Sometimes we seek it out, but often the decision to change is made for us. When I was called to become the minister at Delta United Church, it set in motion many, and massive, changes. I had always commuted to my pastoral charges from my home in Waterloo, but, after prayerful consideration, I sold the family home and made my way to Hamilton. My two daughters were young adults pursuing their education, so it felt all right for the whole family.

Then, I made the significant decision to purchase a home in Crown Point, which has been a blessing in so many ways.  It has given me a place to call home, a sanctuary of sorts that enables me to be creative and be more rooted in our community. My daughters and I love to explore Crown Point. We can be found on Ottawa Street, the Mancala Monk Café, Gage Park, attending church concerts and visiting other areas in our neighbourhood.  

New activities, like moving to a new city, can be very stressful, as can other major life events involving our relationships, work, health, and finances, but when we speak about our spiritual lives, we speak in terms of internal changes, as in our attitude, values, or beliefs that impact our behaviour. Now, I invite you to reflect on something you would like to change within yourself. If change seems to be too strong a word, then think about an adjustment, or shift or fine-tuning you would like to make in some aspect of your life.

Allow me to offer three suggestions as a way of exploring change within:

  • First, do something outside your comfort zone, something you have only dreamt of doing. (For me, it was saying “yes” to writing this column! It meant letting go of my perfectionistic tendencies and my fear of failure, and, instead, walking in faith that all would unfold.)
  • Second, challenge your assumptions about yourself, your loved ones, and your community. For example, instead of assuming you are correct about someone or something, investigate, ask questions, and really figure out whether or not your assumptions are correct. 
  • Third, as Mahatma Gandhi said, be the change you want to see in the world. If you value inclusivity then use inclusive language. If you want to challenge stereotypes, find the courage to say “no” to people who are using them. If you value community and neighborhoods, be the change agent that enables Crown Point to be the best it can be. 

During the summer months, may each of us renew our spirit and be mindful of all our neighborhood has to offer. May we continue to learn and grow and change!