Pastor Donna’s Weekly Word

Unpacking the Memory Box

Well folks, we are all moved into our new home in Groveland.   As I was packing up, it quickly became apparent that we were not going to take everything with us.  There were a lot of things collected, gifted and acquired over the years that invoked heartfelt memories. Then there were those things that beg the question: Why in the world did we keep this? 

One of the things that has been with me for over 45 years now is a small wooden cigar box that has a pastoral scene on the lid that I had made in a wood burning class.  It is filled with what may appear to be silly little things like: tickets to concerts, name badges from old jobs, a card with an old address from Tulsa, Oklahoma,  some old costume jewelry from my 80’s big hair days, a set of rosary beads from my grandmother,  a guitar pick I used with my very first guitar at the age of 14, a large button from a coat I wore studying abroad in Italy,  a seashell from a special walk on the beach,  a small polished stone from a trip to a cavern in MO, a very old sterling silver Celtic cross I used to wear when I first heard the call on my life and a red comma pin, a reminder that God is Still Speaking.  This little wooden box with its objects of affection has moved with me many times over the years. These mementos remind me of my travels, of people I met along the way; retelling stories that bring smiles and sometimes tears. Nevertheless, they bear witness to my life, what I believe and how I experience belonging to God and others.    

Now here we are in Groveland, unpacking and about to write more chapters.  This time when I opened this special box I picked up a small piece of bark from the Worshiping Oak Tree. This piece of bark sits alongside my other mementos reminding me of our Phoenix Rising UCC journeys. And next to that is a  bookmark with a great blue heron and its spiritual significance. There is a chain of blue heron stories that became signs that God was leading me and us. 

Groveland Congregational Church has also become a link in that chain.  It reminds me of the day at Kim’s house, as members of Phoenix Rising met with Groveland leadership to discuss partnering.  While waiting outside for everyone to arrive, Cathy had just gotten out of the car and a great blue heron flew low, directly over all of us. Someone said “if you told me about this I would not have believed it!”    

To anyone who looks inside that old cigar box, those items would be meaningless,  but to me, their value is priceless.  We are still unpacking and turning the Parsonage into our home.  I can’t help wondering how many new stories are in our future together.  



One response

  1. Hi Donna and Jen and Team- Wishing y’all the best of luck with Our Home on Perry Park✌️

    Got up to get a Cup of Our Towns Water😀 Very refreshing as is are new Pastor Donna Spencer Collins🥗

    Bless our Friends and Neighbors🎣🦅🪁🍀John

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