The theme of our 33rd UCC General Synod was "Strongly Rooted in Love." In October 2020, I was honored to be elected to serve as a delegate for our Illinois South Conference.
This photo I've included...is from our family vacation that we took in June of this year. This is not the first time that I have witnessed a tree seemingly growing out of a rock but this was definitely the first time I was ever able to get this close to one.
When thinking about the theme of General Synod, God's hand in bringing me to the beloved community of Friedens, and my own faith journey...I can visualize my own roots in a growth similar to the tree in this photo. My childhood was "rocky" and in my childhood my relationship with God was set/built upon The Rock. My roots stretched and grew towards places that were nourishing and life giving. Sometimes I found these spaces and places within my family...and I would identify those roots as closest to the base of the tree. Other-times, I found these spaces and places outside of my home. My church, my "framily", my pastors...different experiences I happened upon through intention or by accident...and within myself.
One thing I know for certain is that I am "Strongly Rooted in Love" to our Triune God, my family/framily, to the United Church of Christ AND to this beloved community that I am honored and humbled to walk alongside and serve. These lovingly tended roots stretch out in all different directions...seeking nourishment and life giving connections with each and every tendril. Root systems are strong, extremely stubborn and are also reciprocal. I am mindful of the roots taking in nourishment and the leaves providing oxygen to its environment. Even cleaning the toxicity from the air by converting the CO2.
I am drawing MUCH upon this reflection... and about how I am "Strongly Rooted in Love", how my root system is like the one in this photo, and how I am able to identify with each part of the tree as I live as a human being and as a beloved child and servant of God.
What does this say to you? Will you take the time to inspect your roots, your bedrock/soil, and your "tree-ness"?