Reflections by Lisa Kemble
Growing up, I was a total calendar nerd. Every semester in college through graduate school, right after getting my syllabi, I would make a highly detailed, color-coded calendar of all the assignments and due dates for every class, including all of the holidays and personal events, for the entire term. (This was pre- cell phone days, so it took a lot longer, because it had to be done by hand, with colored pens, of course!) It was a totally tedious task, but I loved it, because it helped me visually, mentally, and even emotionally orient myself to the season, and to what was important at that time.
Growing up in the evangelical church, however, we never really used much of a calendar. The only time we really acknowledged a “season” was on Easter and Christmas. My family thought that liturgical churches were boring and relied on rote repetition and empty rituals. I believed them.
In my mid-30s, however, my husband and I moved our young family to San Francisco, and through a series of circumstances, ended up at a Reformed church, which was totally outside of either of our traditions. At the time, the quiet reverence of the service and the predictable rhythms were a welcome contrast to the chaos, noise and unpredictability we experienced in our corner of the city. At first, I found the liturgy and recited prayers a bit strange and I didn’t really get the point of adhering to the church calendar. Being solely familiar with a “spontaneous” model of worship made the structure initially feel a bit forced.
In the three years that we lived in SF and attended this church, however, I experienced a profound shift in my faith.
Just like my #nerdcore calendar oriented me to what was important each semester, I found that the rhythms and rituals of the church calendar, as they followed the various seasons of the life of Christ each year, oriented me to God in a fresh way. These sacred practices gave me a focal point for the present, and a way to connect to the past and future that helped me to locate myself within God’s bigger story. Alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ, the opportunities for collective remembrance presented by the calendar and the sacraments also helped me to connect with my church family, with saints past and present, and with my own embodied experience of faith.
Alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ, the opportunities for collective remembrance presented by the calendar and the sacraments also helped me to connect with my church family, with saints past and present, and with my own embodied experience of faith.
As we consider how to integrate these rhythms into our own context at Makers, I am so excited for us to embark on this new journey together–I am whipping out my calendar right now!
Lisa Kemble is a LMFT who is passionate about helping people explore their stories in creative ways to empower them to live fully and authentically. Through her therapy practices, she creates a safe and sacred space where people can understand both their power and their pain, heal from the wounds and trauma of their pasts, and move forward in their lives into meaning, freedom and wholeness. Lisa lives in La Mesa with her husband, Josh, and their three children: Eden, Rhythm, and Xander.