A Word from Teresa – 1/4/19

Happy New Year! I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas season.

          Over the holiday, my family traveled to Colorado to visit my brother, his wife, and their 3 month old son. Other members of my extended family joined us. We rented a house for several days and enjoyed visiting, playing games, and delighting in my baby nephew. One day we ventured out to a small town called Nederland. Located about an hour from Denver, Nederland is best known for the Carousel of Happiness. When my brother told me we were going to ride on this Carousel of Happiness, I thought it was a joke. But there we were. All thirteen of us; all three generations of us.

          The story of how this carousel came to be is quite extraordinary and it is rooted in events that are rather somber. Scott Harrison was a Marine who witnessed horrific events while serving in the Vietnam War. During his time of service, he carried with him a small music box that someone had given him. As the war raged on, he found brief moments of consolation whenever he listened to the music. As our tour guide told us, “He held [the music box] up to his ear to distract him from the horror of the war going on around him. The music brought him a peaceful image of a carousel in a mountain meadow”(carouselofhappiness.org). All these years later, the peaceful image he dreamt about became a reality. A few decades ago Scott was met with an opportunity to restore an old carousel and he took the opportunity, carving many of the ride’s animals himself by hand.

          As I consider the new year before us, I carry with me this memory of riding the Carousel of Happiness. I am on a longhorn and my parents are behind me on a horse and cheetah. My daughter on a deer and my husband on a zebra ahead of me. My siblings, niece and nephews scattered around on other animals including my youngest nephew in the arms of his mother who is seated on a bench. A memory like this can enable one to imagine and dream as playful events often do.

          In 2019, I want to embrace more fully opportunities that lead to play and joy. Yes, we take our work seriously. Yes, there are very real concerns we carry. And yes, there are horrific injustices we won’t ignore. But in the midst of it all, there are moments of levity and happiness. Such moments are gifts from God, given so we might be reminded that Christ came and comes still to give us life and life abundantly.

          What a joy to be your District Superintendent!



 I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. – Brene Brown