Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is March a Rough Month for Alaskans?

Last week was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for me.  I am so glad Holy Week is here!  How I need to see my fragile life in the larger context of our salvation story of Jesus' final days on earth and resurrection.

Being a systems person and a visionary I am always tempted to look at the bigger picture.  After 21 winters in Alaska I feel qualified somewhat to speak on the effects of these long winters.  I am wondering if March isn't one of the hardest months for Alaskans.  The cumulative effect of months of cold, darkness, snow, and ice is wearing us down.  The increased light is awakening our internal seasonal rhythms and drawing us outside with new energy to tackle projects, dig into the earth, and become more active.  But alas, this is what lurks outside my house today!

It clearly is not spring here.  All this is to say that I wonder how much of a factor this reality is for our churches in Alaska.  I have been here long enough to see significant conflict in just about all of our churches.  One thing I learned while serving our Soldotna UMC is not to engage in soul searching visioning during the winter.  With lower amounts of energy, seasonal affective disorder, and isolation from family we seem destined to become crabbier at this time.

My ultimate point is this.  Whenever our lay and clergy leaders face increased stress, anxiety, or conflict, think about the environmental effects that Alaska may contribute to our dis-ease.  Seeing the bigger picture may help us realize that we're in this Great Land together, the amazing beauty as well as the tough challenges.

Grace Always,

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