If we’re lucky enough to shape our surroundings and the flow of our days in the manner of our choosing, most of us establish and follow at least some routines, and there is comfort to be found in their familiarity. These might include coffee every morning, screened porch time every evening, a favorite show’s new episode, or a weekly phone chat with loved ones. The same likely can be said for church related routines. If we stick around long, we tend to participate in this service and that group and these volunteer activities. There is nothing at all wrong with that predictability. It helps calm the chaos of mind and world alike when there are known points to move between and I myself am a creature of habit as much (or more) than the next person.

But! I also know that there’s real value in injecting novelty and new perspectives. I’m not saying I want to see what the world is like without my morning coffee, though I did buy an interesting hot tea blend recently. Look at me changing it up! On a larger scale I can think of a couple new paths I explored during the pandemic that have given me food for thought going forward.

Church habits deserve the same eye toward growth and in some ways, being on Zoom allows for even easier exploring of what CUCC, and other spiritual touchstones, have to offer. This week I attended the virtual Taize service for the first time, listened to a friend’s guest sermon from another church, and participated in the virtual “Lectionary Lunch with Lacey” for the first time. Each one of those brought new joys and insights to my week, just for the price of stepping out of my routine a bit. So let’s give thanks for our lives and our routines and the joys we’re used to, but as Lacey said during our discussion about the disciples’ reactions to Jesus’ miracles, let’s not miss the chance to be newly stopped in our tracks.