Reflect On The New Year
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John Dorhauer (JD): Well, hello, everybody. This is John Dorhauer, returning to the Into the Mystic podcast, this time with my dear friend Jess Chancey. Jess, hello.
Jess Chancey (JC): Hi, John.
JD: Happy New Year!
JC: Happy New Year. I find it funny that you think you’re returning to my podcast.
JD: We can have that conversation as soon as we’re done. I do want all of the listeners to know how grateful I am to you for the way that you filled in. I listened to every one, and was so proud of the work that you did, and so pleased to listen to your reflections. So thank you.
JC: Well, thank you because I don’t get to use my voice that way very often. Most of my ministry is done privately in hospital rooms, and so it was quite a joy to do that. So thank you.
JD: Well, may the future grant your voice new audiences. And for the listeners, we’re doing an impromptu podcast together to open up the new year, and I’m grateful to Jess. They did a marvelous job, and I wanted an opportunity to spend some time with them on this initial podcast.
JC: Here’s hoping I don’t embarrass you too much since we don’t have a script.
JD: Let’s see how it goes. So let’s move a little out of the nebulous sort of, “OK, we’re going to do something,” into the more specific conversation about the new year. Did you do New Year’s resolutions, Jess?
JC: I’m not a resolution person. I found that generally, if I do a resolution, it doesn’t get kept, and it becomes a point of beating myself and becoming a kind of maudlin lump on my couch when I realize I’m never going to do this one.
But I do tend to have hopes each new year. I wake up on the first morning, the New Year, because I’m not a up until midnight type person either. I wake up and I look at Macy, and I say, “Happy New Year, Puppy Dog!” and then I kind of speak into the world some hopes that I have. How about you?
JD: I’m kind of the same way. I would facetiously say, “I don’t need to improve, so I don’t make resolutions.” No, that’s not true. And I tend to commit to them and forget about them. And the year comes around, and I I don’t feel any shame, I just don’t even think about them anymore.
So like you, I like to take some time at the beginning of the year and reflect on what my hopes are, and what I want to give my energy to. And I’ll start by identifying one, and then invite you to identify something you want to spend time giving your energy to, and that you’re hopeful for.
My first one isn’t very glamorous. It’s very technical. It’s part of the job that I do, and the world may know that we’re trying to sell one building and move the staff into a single floor in another building. And that is very technical, and it doesn’t sound very exciting, but it’s what it is. A new future in how we work in the national setting with one another, and for the covenant partners that we do the work for.
And I’m actually very excited about that and hopeful that it creates a whole new culture in the national setting for how we do our work.
JC: Yeah, I am so grateful that when I came to visit you and Mimi last September, I got to see this floor gutted and not yet built out and all that stuff. And it was actually my first time seeing the building on Prospect as well, because I’d done some work in Cleveland over the past few years, but I had not actually been to the UCC headquarters, so it was amazing to get that tour.
But then even more amazing, I think, to see the new space and imagine. And yeah, I feel that hope for all of the ways that that space could become a new home and embody a new future and revitalization of our work. That is pretty exciting. I don’t think that’s too technical at all, John.
JD: Nice. I’m very excited about it. So, tell us about a hope that you have for the new year.
JC: Oh, I hope that this pandemic goes away.
JD: I think we can all resonate with that.
JC: Right? And I’m hearing more and more on the news that it’s probably here for the foreseeable future. However, the trends are showing that this is taking that turn towards becoming something that we coexist with, like the common cold and the flu, where it’s a pain to get it, but we have the treatments and prevention measures to make it something we can live with.
So while COVID-19 might stay around in some form or fashion, pandemic lifestyle–God-willing–it’s on its way out. And that’s the hope that I’m really speaking into the world, that we can once again become a community, a global community that can be in community with each other.
That we can travel the world without fear of getting an illness and taking it to a loved one, and see our grandparents without fear of getting them sick, and be able to visit our loved ones in the hospital, and be with them when they are feeling lonely. I have great hopes for this being that year.
JD: May it be so. Well, I’m going to name one more hope and invite you to do the same. And it won’t be hard to segueway from yours to mine. We’re going to lead the church, the body of Christ, into a conversation about what the future beyond this raging pandemic looks like.
And invite us all to be in conversation with one another about what we discovered, not just about coping with a pandemic, but what we discovered about the church thriving in new and different circumstances and what that means on the other side of it. That’s my hope for this year.
JC: I like it. I like it. You said you need one more hope from me?
JD: If you got it.
JC: Are you sure you’re ready for this? It’s pretty deep.
JD: I don’t know!
JC: Pretty deep and pretty philosophical, John.
JC: Let’s hear it.
JC: I hope for a new Star Trek. There’s a new series in development about Captain Pike and early Spock. It’s called “Strange New Worlds.” I’m super excited. It’s been in the pipes for a while. Come on, Star Trek!
JD: Haha! Well, as we close this time, now, and I again thank you for what you’ve done. May there be new hopes and new horizons to explore on this, our journey into the mystic.