While I’m looking forward to returning to ministry, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend these past 8 weeks home with Audrey. She’s just such a beautiful baby, and she’s changed so much these past 8 weeks. She’s now cooing, giggling, and smiling at us as she learns to play and explore the world around her. And our dog Macrina? She just loves her so much, and she shows her love by licking Audrey’s toes! Every day I’m amazed at all that Audrey is learning and discovering, and I look forward to seeing who she becomes!

I’m so thankful to you Lovely Lane for this gift of time to recover and heal and to soak in those cuddles with our sweet girl. Many other moms don’t have this gift and must go back to work so quickly because their job
isn’t protected; they’ll lose it if they take time off, or maybe because they can’t afford to not be paid even if they can take time off. It’s really a shame that so many women don’t have the gift that I’ve had, and then
there’s the problem that the partner often doesn’t have any time off at all. This time has meant the world to me and to us as a family. It truly has opened my eyes to this injustice about the lack of universal family
leave. How can we as a church community advocate for families in our community, new parents, and moms without a support person? How can our ministry to new parents reflect the love of Christ? Maybe it starts
with reaching out to those in our midst and advocating on behalf of those who aren’t able to have the gift of leave.

While I’m grieving the reality that Audrey is now just about 2 months old and my days with her will look different, I’m excited to join back in ministry with each of you. Again, I thank all of you and the United Methodist Church for this incredible gift of time to be with Audrey these past two months. She’s a gift!

Pastor Kristina