Today I begin my Clergy Renewal! For the next three months I will be on a journey to renew myself – heart, soul, strength, and mind – both personally and professionally. I, along with leaders at First Christian Church, have been working hard to prepare for this moment. Here I am! Today, on this beautiful, spring day, I hiked Pine Lake State Park Trail near Eldora with my husband, Tim. We took in the sounds of nature – the honking of the geese, the chirping of the insects, the cooing of the mourning doves. We saw about a dozen or so turtles sunning themselves on the tree branches that lay in the water.

Today was about trying to slow down, look and listen, so that I may fully experience life teeming all around. It is Spring, and we just celebrated Easter yesterday. Today was also about finishing tasks necessary for me to board the plane to France on Wednesday in confidence. I am grateful to be present to the “here” even while edging my way toward “there.”

And so the journey begins!



  1. May your heart go wide open to new grow and the presence of God along the journey!

  2. Godspeed, friend! You have planned and prepared well. I have no doubt that you will learn more than you could have guessed and grow stronger than you have ever been.

  3. Mel & Pat Popelka Reply

    HI Mary Jane,
    Enjoyed your picture at Pine Lake. WE used to camp there with family and the Malabys.
    Sorry we didn’t get to see you right before you left for France. We will miss you. Stay safe!!!
    Mel & Pat

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