Pastor Kirsten

Pastor's Message

Dear Church Family,


It’s well-and-truly summer. This one is shaping up to be busy with planning and transitions (i.e. hybrid worship, retreats for Education and Deacons, Confirmation projects and field trips, racial justice workshops, etc.). Still, I hope we will find some time to delight in re-openings and find joy in one another’s presence.


So, in that spirit, the Deacons have chosen a summer worship theme to meet each of us where we are: Emerging. This theme refers to the ongoing process of emerging from COVID, of course. But it also makes me think of all the other ways we emerge into life: plants emerging from the soil, children emerging into adulthood, people emerging from illness or painful experiences, lessons that emerge from challenging times, and the wisdom that continues to emerge from our scriptures, our faith traditions, and our experiences of all that is Holy.


One way or another, at one time or another, we have each emerged from something. We each have a story (or stories) of emergence in our own lives. And one of the best ways to learn about and seek emergence is to share those stories with each other. It reminds us that we are not alone. It encourages us to look for emergence in places we might not have expected. It even allows for others to hold the hope of our emergence when we’re not yet ready to hold it for ourselves.


One of our Deacons has suggested that it could be deeply encouraging to share some of our emergence stories during worship this summer. If you have a story you’d be willing to share, please let me know. I’d be happy to make room in the service for you to share your story. Or, if you’d rather, you’re welcome to write up your story and I will read it for you. It doesn’t have to be long; 2-4 minutes will be lovely.


As we move through this strange in-between time of emerging into the world again (and sometimes retreating, so we can emerge another day), we are grateful to be together. We are grateful to the God who has already emerged from the impossible – from death into new life.

So grateful to share in life and ministry with you.






Rev. Kirsten M. Linford


Senior Minister

Westwood Hills Congregational UCC