Intern's Corner

Intern's Corner

The regular column by Rica Kaufel, Intern Minister. Rica started her 2-year ministerial internship here at OCUUC in September 2018. She can be reached by email at rica@ocuuc.org.

Final post as Intern

It is June.  Can you believe it?  I feel like it was just March, and then we all stopped leaving our homes.  And now it is June!! June is also the last month of my internship with you.  Even though at times, when I was juggling my work at UCI, my studies at Meadville, and the tasks of writing a sermon, preparing a class for thee youth, or attending a Board meeting, all I wanted was a really long vacation,…

The Ancient Greeks

When I was a teenager, I started to read the myths of Ancient Greece, and pretty soon I stumbled over a detail that irked me so much that I closed the book, threw it under my bed, and instead did whatever teenagers do when they feel irked by the myths of the Ancient Greeks. You may wonder what it was that caused the offense –because isn’t there so much in these stories that is offensive to our modern minds?  Was…

Fueled by Joy

Just about a week ago I signed up for my last set of classes at Meadville Lombard Theological School, the seminary I am attending. After this semester, I will graduate in May, and my internship will come to an end in June. What an incredible journey it has been! As I am writing about Resilience –our theme for this month –I can’t help but think back over the last few years. As wonderful as it has been, this path to…

Our perfectly imperfect selves

I recently read in a book that the Kaaba –the most sacred location in Islam to which millions of Muslims all over the world turn when doing their daily prayers –already existed in pre-Islamic times. Back then, it housed a plethora of gods worshipped by different groups in the area. It is believed that in the middle of the pre-Islamic Kaaba was a nail, which was seen as the center of the universe. Pilgrims who came to worship in the…

A Warm Weather Christmas

A few days ago, I was talking to one of my seminary buddies. Her internship is in New Mexico, to where she moved from the Midwest, and this year, she will spend her second Christmas season there. She said she generally really loves New Mexico, but Christmas in the heat — that’s just weird. And as she talked about this, I was flooded with awe. Awe at the human capability to adapt, to build a home, to blend in. Because…

Pay Attention to Yourself

When I started thinking about attention and what I could say about it, so much came to mind.  Not necessarily ideas, but examples: times when I did or didn’t pay enough attention to my child, my friends, maybe one of you.  Times when I did or didn’t pay enough attention to details, or the grand picture.  Times when I did or didn’t mess up on an important issue because instead of giving it my full attention, I was multi-tasking.  The…

Belonging; As We Are

We strive to be a beloved community where people who come feel like they belong. So, with our monthly theme of belonging, I’ve been thinking of what it is that makes me feel like I belong in some places or groups, but not in others. It seems to me that we feel like we belong not necessarily when everyone is like us, but when we can be exactly who we are – with our strengths and our weaknesses, our quirkiness,…

Summer is Upon Us

Dear wonderful people of OCUUC, Summer is upon us… and I have a two-month break before the second half of my internship with you starts in September.  I will spend a good chunk of July in Chicago for summer classes, and an even better chunk of August in Germany, writing papers, but also spending time with my family, catching up with friends, and getting some rest.  I imagine I’ll spend quite a lot of time sitting in street cafes in…

You are So Beautiful to Me

Our theme for this month is Beauty. It makes me feel so conflicted, I don’t even know where to start. It makes me think of an afternoon in my life when I was still on college. On this particular afternoon, I sat on the floor sobbing because I had just gone through a pretty devastating break up. And then a piece of music I really loved came on, and as I looked up, the sunlight that was streaming through my…

Let’s Be Curious

I am happy to say that I am just about to finish Spring semester. Ah, the freedom! That also means that I spent the last couple of weeks churning out paper after paper. And while that was a lot of work, I also made some great discoveries: for example, I discovered some really amazing stuff about Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess who, as a tenth child, was tithed to the church at the age of eight (don’t let…