Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Churches- Tori Valcarcel, Dec. 15, 2021

Devotion for Dec. 15 from Tori Valcarcel, Ministry-in-Context Student for HTLC and CTK:


I want to start this last devotion by saying thank you.  

Thank you to everyone that is part of the Christ the King and Holy Trinity community. Thank you to Pastor Tia and Pastor Tim. 

Thank you to Keith, Carmen, Dana, Alan, Patricia, Jim, Barney, Jason, and all the technically, musically, and administratively gifted people.  

Thank you to my lay committee members- Joe and Cheryl and Linda and Dean.  

Thank you to each and every congregant who smiled at my little square on Zoom or sent welcoming chat messages. Thank you to everyone who got excited to see Moose on camera, and to everyone who prayed and thought of me as I moved from Maryland to California. Thank you to each and every person who has made the West Coast feel more like a home than I ever could have hoped for. 

I have been blessed to learn from this community- from individuals who choose each and every week to share their gifts with the church, from committees and groups that dedicate their time and energy to serving others, from pastors and lay leaders who give so much of themselves to leading faithfully. 

I continue to be amazed by the wonderful things that can happen when people choose to be vulnerable with each other. Every time I’ve written a devotion I hold my breath to see if maybe this is the one that gets me fired from being a Ministry in Context student (it hasn’t happened yet!). Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the right path, pursuing ordained ministry as a pastor, when I question my own spiritual insight or faith. Each and every time I have shared those questions with you all, though, I have been embraced with open arms and echoing questions.  

Choosing to be vulnerable, choosing to invest in relationships, choosing to serve others as Christ served- these are the lessons I am honored to have learned and re-learned from all of you. 

My sincerest thanks and love, 

Tori Valcarcel 

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