Andi Voinovich's blog

Growing from Grief

This week I, like many people, put on my pink and headed out to see the Barbie movie. It had much more substance than I thought it would, and who knew this gorgeous piece of plastic could have such real human experiences? Without giving too much away, let's just say that Barbie is NOT having a good day. Things aren't so wonderful as they usually are and Barbie's at a loss for what comes next. At one point you see her literally lying on the ground. When another wonders what's going on with her, Weird Barbie says, "This Barbie's not dead. She's having an existential crisis."

To Be Known

Who is God to you? If and when asked that question do you feel prepared to answer it? It's kind of interesting that so much of our faith is based on understanding of this Deity, this higher power, and yet when faced with a question about what God is, suddenly everything we sang, prayed, and thought about on Sunday morning worship can seem to slip out of our minds. It can be particularly difficult to talk about God with a person who has no religious experience or background. Where do you start when you're starting at the beginning of explaining who God is for you?

When Life Gives You Cake . . .

Each Wednesday night in the month of July, we host a movie at the church as a way to grow in community together and have some fun. This week, our movie was Matilda. Have you seen Matilda? It's one of my favorites!

Open Hearts and Open Hands

Did you know in the United Methodist Church, we have a variety of Sundays we are called to acknowledge and support? This Sunday, June 4 is Peace with Justice Sunday. On this day, we are called to remember our call to social transformation. We are invited to consider our role in peacemaking in this world and seek justice in community with those who are oppressed. Donations from this Sunday go to justice movements in our Northern Illinois Conference and globally. Often when people talk about religion, they think of doctrine in regard to dogma and belief.

Is This the Time?

There are places, spaces, and people that absolutely change our lives. For me, college was one of those spaces. I loved my time at Bowling Green State University. My dad likes to talk about when we were leaving after graduation. As we drove away, I was in tears. My dad turned to me and asked, "Are those happy tears?" My answer was "no."

Do Everything With Love

Throughout our lives, there are important milestones that mark momentous occasions. Can you think of any of the major ones from your life? Maybe it was a Sweet Sixteen or Quinceañera. Maybe it was a wedding or the first time you drove a car, at graduation, or watched a child take their first steps. Within the Christian tradition, there are also a variety of milestones. For some denominations, a child may engage in education and a particular ritual as they prepare for their First Communion at a certain age.

The Agape League

It is an exciting season in the church! Two weeks ago we celebrated Easter. Last week the bells rang out their witness through the sanctuary. This week, we have the Children's Cantata, and then comes Confirmation Sunday and the Chancel Choir Cantata. In some ways, this is a shake up for us and the way we usually do worship. This month we are invited to worship in ways that don't follow our traditional structure and order. And you know what? I think that's great!

Quaking into a New World

Holy Week is upon us! Together, we gather in worship Thursday, Friday, and Sunday as we journey with Jesus to and from the cross toward resurrection. Yesterday, we honored Maundy Thursday by washing each other's hands and honoring Christ's celebration of service. Today with worship leadership from our Chancel Choir, we gather around the cross and mourn as Jesus dies. All of this happens in one week as we make it to Sunday - to Easter.

Roll Away the Stone

"She's in a better place." Have you ever been on the receiving end of these words after a loved one has died? Maybe it brought you comfort, or maybe you, like me, found anything but that in this response. Why couldn't this world have been a good place? What does it mean that "a better place" is away from loved ones? The power of grief is significant, particularly in the face of early, unexpected, and/or tragic loss. Each of us processes these losses differently, but grief is normal. Grief is a healthy response. It can also be maddening and devastating.

Beyond Our Wildest Imagination

Usually, I'm a team player and am willing to try new things. Every now and then though, I am reminded of my boundaries and limits. When I was in college, I worked in the Center for Leadership. I created and facilitated workshops and retreats on different aspects of leadership with a team of other students for various student groups on campus. I loved this job! When I started, we had a week-long training before we got to work. So much of it was meaningful. We went over different leadership theories, over the mission and vision of our center, we built relationships, and more.


Subscribe to RSS - Andi Voinovich's blog

Copyright © 2023 First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove. Please report any problems to