Staff Blog: Paula’s Perspectives, December 2021


This month we celebrate the ministry theme, Elevate. What a wonderful word! On Sunday, December 12, we had a very rich discussion on this word and all the ways it plays out in our lives.


I am reminded of Rev. Margret’s Musing this month, and how she started her blog by saying, “Ah, the winter holidays …. ‘tis the season to be …  Jolly?  Harried? Gloomy? Irritable? All of these, either by turns or all at once??” It is so true how we can be feeling all the things at all the times.


When we talked in the Sunday Theme Discussion, most people thought at first of “elevator” when they heard the word elevate. That makes sense. Only I offered that our personal elevators do not just go up and down neat and clean like that. Truth is, most of the time…and especially this time of year…our elevators are more Wonkavators! To quote the man himself:


Willy Wonka: It’s a Wonkavator. An elevator can only go up and down, but the Wonkavator can go sideways, and slantways, and longways, and backways…

Charlie:  And frontways?

Willy Wonka: …and squareways, and front ways, and any other ways that you can think of!


I am sure this notion rings true for a lot of people. It does for me. But among all the ways our Wonkavators are going these days, I think it’s important that we remember to elevate in the traditional sense of lifting up. In our discussion, we talked about ways of elevating – lifting up others, lifting up ourselves, and lifting up our actions.


When we elevate others, we honor their value and make sure their point of view is centered. What are some ways you can elevate others? In our discussion we talked about how we might do this in our work to dismantle racism. We might also lift up people who don’t always get lifted, like the voices of children. And sometimes elevating others is just as simple as telling something you appreciate them.


When we elevate ourselves, we honor our own inherent worth and dignity and make sure our needs are tended to. What are some ways you can elevate yourself? In addition to self-care, this might also be elevating a way of thought, or taking in new information. Maybe we need to elevate our communication and relationship skills, and we might just not put ourselves at the end of the priority line.


This third way – elevating our actions – might be a little more complex. Maybe we need to find motivation for long-put off activities. Maybe we’ve been “wanting” to help somewhere, and elevating the action might be no longer putting it off. Perhaps elevating our actions might just be living more authentically. What are some ways you can elevate your actions?


Truth be told, all of these are just more ways to ride our Wonkavators. Upways, and sideways, slantways, and any other ways you can think of. But hopefully part of the crazy ride is lifting ourselves and others!


Cheers to your elevating! Enjoy the ride!