Curt Hammond (he/him) (00:00.142)
appreciate this. And hey, because we’re tripping into this idea. And this is where I thought this would be interesting. I’d like to learn from you is around.
Working in the hospice, and we’ve done some work in hospice and thoroughly enjoyed it and just learned so much. Working in hospice is, you know, never about me, right? It is always about being in service to someone else. And so I thought it’d be an interesting place maybe to start our conversation today. What does service look like in the work you’re doing now?
Rev. Jenn (00:32.395)
So I think the service part looks like presence. I think it looks like presence and I think it looks like being available for whatever that person is experiencing.
Rev. Jenn (00:50.155)
when people are nearing end of life.
Rev. Jenn (00:57.663)
It’s a very sacred place. The veil is very thin. People are often coming to terms with maybe regrets, joys, losses, triumphs, all of it in those final days. They’re trying to figure out how to not be in a physical space anymore.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (01:23.246)
Rev. Jenn (01:26.927)
it’s sometimes like what I like to call excruciatingly beautiful, right?
Curt Hammond (he/him) (01:32.23)
Right, right, yeah. Yeah.
Rev. Jenn (01:38.411)
And everyone’s different. It’s always different. Like, you never know where you’re gonna meet someone, you never know what it’s gonna look like, you never know where it’s gonna go. And you just say, I’m in, and go along for the ride. Service looks like being available.
Rev. Jenn (02:01.491)
It looks like not being afraid.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (02:03.47)
Rev. Jenn (02:10.215)
It looks like being open and willing.
Rev. Jenn (02:15.127)
and like it looks like being willing to hurt along with.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (02:24.494)
Rev. Jenn (02:26.431)
Rev. Jenn (02:29.823)
you know that’s sometimes some things that I need to process after I’ve had an encounter because I’m I sometimes I mean like I’m impacted I’m like well I felt that I felt that not always right I like to try and keep things external most of the time because that’s where I carry things I carry it out here and then I offer it to God because God is the one that ultimately carries it but sometimes you know what I’m like frig I felt that
Curt Hammond (he/him) (02:33.482)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (02:40.238)
Well, no doubt. Thank you.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (02:48.342)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (02:55.73)
Oh, yeah. So all those examples and what you said service is, you’ve removed yourself and you have removed yourself and your needs from that equation. So I wanna drill down on that a bit because this is where the gift and the challenge of service is, I think. So if you can share, like how do you…
Rev. Jenn (03:05.971)
Oh yeah. Yeah, it’s not about me.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (03:18.734)
How do you pull Jen right out of that? Like your ego is right off the table. You’re, what happens here and here to let you do that?
Rev. Jenn (03:39.127)
I wish I could describe some physiological response that happens, but you know, it’s really about… ..
Rev. Jenn (03:53.567)
You know, part of my, I almost feel like I have to go back before I can go forward to answer that question because my life experience has taught me that it’s not about me. My call to service and my relationship with creator, God, whatever you want to call higher power is one that’s fundamentally constructed on the foundation of service.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (03:57.102)
Please, please. Yeah, yeah.
Rev. Jenn (04:20.723)
And that is because we got into a relationship through my, like I was hopelessly addicted. I was homeless and I was suicidal. And it was as a result of a suicide attempt that I was like, you know, I can’t fix this. I don’t know how to do this. I’m done.
Rev. Jenn (04:53.819)
If we find a way out of this, then it’s no longer my time. It’s your time. Because I’m not supposed to be here. Okay? So there’s a lot about where this stems from is the understanding that this is no longer my time. This is a time for me. Now that doesn’t say that I don’t experience…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (05:05.058)
Right, right, right.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (05:12.256)
Rev. Jenn (05:22.491)
incredible insight, joy, wisdom, all growth, all I do, and that’s because of the nature of God. That’s because God is good. God didn’t say, okay, I’m just going to use you when you don’t matter. God is good. And so God has said, okay, I’m going to use you, but because you’re willing, you will, everyone will be made better for the encounter. And that is what service is about. Everyone
Curt Hammond (he/him) (05:25.026)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (05:38.062)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (05:50.498)
Right. Yes, yes. Yes.
Rev. Jenn (05:52.795)
included in the encounter is made better for having encountered one another. So service, including me. So in service, we say the word service, it’s usually directed outward. But service in the name of God, service in the spirit is always multi-dimensional.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (05:59.049)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (06:18.062)
looking for a way to phrase that and everyone being better for the encounter. That is the language I’ve really been, oh yeah, yeah. I’m sorry, I’m cutting you off there, but that’s beautiful. That’s beautiful.
Rev. Jenn (06:22.991)
Everyone is made better for the encounter and that is the spirit of Yeah, yeah, that’s God Yeah So I show up and I’ve learned this over time, right? I know that when I show up with an attitude of it’s not about me I end up being made better for the encounter anyway And that’s just something that almost comes naturally and is second nature and is unconscious
Curt Hammond (he/him) (06:42.03)
Thanks for watching!
Rev. Jenn (06:49.979)
And so I don’t have to stop and wonder what I’m going to get out of it. By the nature of being present and open, it’s a byproduct. My getting something out of it is a natural byproduct of being present.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (07:08.458)
And it’s just kind of a, it’s a straight line from presence to something for you. Like it’s just, it’s, it’s going to happen, right? It can maybe good and maybe bad, but there will be an impact. Your full, am I hearing your full presence?
Rev. Jenn (07:23.643)
I don’t know if it’s a straight line. I feel like it’s more multi-dimensional. I feel like it’s more…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (07:28.622)
Rev. Jenn (07:34.999)
it because I don’t believe anything is linear. I believe everything is cyclical. And that’s why so much about the Jesus story is cyclical. And we come around and, and we go through, um, the year and the like, even the liturgical year and we go through Advent to resurrection is like, it’s cyclical. Um, and when we are in relationship with each other, it’s cyclical.
And God is the circle. So God is flowing around and between in through, in and through.
the entire situation. So I feel like everything is cyclical and God is the circle.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (08:18.357)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (08:25.71)
So how… ah, so beautiful. So beautiful. Honestly, the hairs on my neck are standing out because this is the stuff that… this is where I want to dig. It sounds like through experience, trauma, love, grace, you have gotten to a point where this pulling ego off, pulling gin out of the picture comes naturally to you, right? How do we help people…
Rev. Jenn (08:50.483)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (08:53.514)
I think because I think there’s magic in there and I not through the similar experiences, but through my grandmother and teaching and practice, not to the same degree you do. I am also able to do that and I also feel this good or bad, there’s something for me.
Rev. Jenn (09:00.704)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (09:10.67)
I want to figure a way how to articulate. I want to package that up, because Jen, I think if we could package that up and we could get people excited and interested and just tipping their toes in that water just a little bit, we could make some fundamental change. So how do we encourage people to step into this space that comes so naturally to you?
Rev. Jenn (09:17.439)
Rev. Jenn (09:26.411)
Rev. Jenn (09:34.815)
Well, so I think that’s a really good question. And I think you’re right. I think if we could find a way to articulate what that space is, I call it a third space. And third space is not new to me. It is a concept. Like I didn’t coin that, but I do relate to that. And liminal space as well. So liminal space and third space. And maybe that’s where I get my whole feeling about being multi-dimensional, because it’s not the first.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (09:44.722)
Rev. Jenn (10:05.487)
It’s this third space. It’s a space that opens up where only God lives. So we go there. And how do we get into the third space? So, yeah, we all get into the third space differently. And yes, mine was through trauma and…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (10:10.99)
Rev. Jenn (10:27.103)
you know, sort of a stark, I certainly don’t recommend that everybody go out and try and commit suicide to enter into that space. Like, let’s not send that message. It can be through pain, but I think it can also be through love. And I think, you know,
Curt Hammond (he/him) (10:34.367)
Rev. Jenn (10:48.955)
I think it can be through human connection in certain ways. So what’s coming up for me is sometimes the place where I sit with people in session who are grieving and they’ve just lost the love of their life and they have no idea, um, you know, who they are, where they’re going, what just happened. This is the worst thing that’s happened to them in their life. Um, and, uh, they’re lost. They’re lost.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (11:08.282)
Thanks for watching!
Rev. Jenn (11:18.303)
and they’re engulfed in this place that we call grief. And we often talk about grief and love being two sides of the same coin, right? We grieve because we love. But love.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (11:28.77)
Mm-hmm. Love, yeah.
Rev. Jenn (11:38.223)
is also something that’s fundamentally freeing. So human love, too often times, we hold onto each other. We hold onto each other in a way that’s controlling and manipulative and we, but there’s nothing like the death of a loved one to realize that the best, that the most, the way…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (11:50.783)
Right, right, right.
Rev. Jenn (12:06.003)
to love them the most and actually the way to reach them is through letting them go. So it’s that freeing. So it’s stepping into that space where I now am loving them by letting them go. So I guess I’m saying that because…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (12:12.573)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (12:30.318)
Thanks for watching!
Rev. Jenn (12:34.103)
um loss can be another way in which people enter into a third space so the experience of loss which is also something that is levels the human playing field right because it doesn’t matter what our culture creed genders sexual orientation age race um we’ve the humans have been experiencing
Curt Hammond (he/him) (12:37.954)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (12:48.248)
Rev. Jenn (13:03.947)
and we’ve evolved and adapted to be able to withstand it. And we’ll all experience it. So loss can be if you are able to give yourself into it and over to it, it can be a place that brings you into a third space. And that’s because you love someone so much. So I mean, love has a role in that.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (13:13.986)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (13:27.679)
Rev. Jenn (13:29.823)
but it is going to be something that fundamentally shakes your world. It’s got to be something that shakes your world. Otherwise people aren’t going to go, oh, here’s my ego, I’m going to put it over there. There’s you can’t connect to it. You can’t connect to it unless I think something has shaken your foundation.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (13:34.742)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (13:44.128)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (13:50.829)
so it needs to be big.
Rev. Jenn (13:53.679)
It needs to be…
Rev. Jenn (14:08.308)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (14:09.486)
Hmm, okay. Keep going.
Rev. Jenn (14:12.543)
It needs to be real. It needs to be…
Rev. Jenn (14:25.195)
something that affects the core of who you are.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (14:28.77)
So do you think that’s possible? So all these examples you’ve shared are brilliant and beautiful, and as you say, excruciatingly beautiful.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (14:40.566)
It needs to be… Yeah, I’m wondering, can we replicate that?
Curt Hammond (he/him) (14:51.378)
not in times of crisis or loss? Like, is there something we could be doing to think about stepping into that third space or stepping into service, somehow pulling our ego out in the day to day? And there may not be, so push back on this one, but I’m wondering if, and this is where my thinking and reading and questioning is going, how can we be modeling for people that same process, maybe scaled down?
And so it still needs to be real. But can there be scales of real, do you think?
Rev. Jenn (15:24.001)
Rev. Jenn (15:27.475)
I think so. I think so. And I think so. And I think you people, people do sense it. I mean, people, there’s a reason why people get a lot out of volunteering, right? There’s a, there’s a, there’s a reason why people get a lot out of, you know, um, like the volunteers we have at the hospice. I know my mom volunteers at the hospital, like there’s people who volunteer at the soup kitchens and there’s people who place themselves in the path.
of being of service to other human beings who can do nothing for them. We have to be in service of someone who can do nothing for you.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (16:01.11)
Rev. Jenn (16:09.199)
Otherwise it’s transactional.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (16:11.65)
Rev. Jenn (16:16.563)
And I think so I think people do sense on some level that they are getting edified in some way by allowing themselves to be in a place of service for people who can do nothing for them. Now
Curt Hammond (he/him) (16:26.125)
Thanks for watching!
Curt Hammond (he/him) (16:32.686)
Because I still get some to your earlier language, even though you can’t do anything for me, I’m still getting something out of this, right? Like, that’s the magic, right?
Rev. Jenn (16:40.26)
That’s the magic of God.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (16:43.63)
Rev. Jenn (16:44.447)
That’s the magic of God. Um, but yeah, so, um, so I do think it happens in varying degrees. Um, but I also think people are very inhibited by our world, especially in the Western worldview where people have, where we’ve gone really individualistic and we’ve gotten away from, um,
Curt Hammond (he/him) (17:08.046)
Rev. Jenn (17:12.703)
the attractional model, community model. Everything is transactional. Like everything, like it used to be that, you know, you’d cut your neighbor’s lawn and your neighbor would then trim your hedges and then the hedge guy would go over there and he would change your tires. And then that guy would do something. Everything was sort of attractional and communal and community oriented. And now everything’s a transaction. Like we have to pay people to listen to us.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (17:15.618)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (17:25.81)
Yeah. Constantly paying it forward, right? Yeah.
Rev. Jenn (17:42.323)
Right? Which is actually one thing about I love my job at the hospice is I am a free resource to the community. So I’m not being… So yes, St. Joe’s pays my salary, but nobody is paying me specifically to listen to them. Which is kind of cool about this position, which is… I often reflect on that and I’m like, Oh God, you’re hilarious. Um… So… Yeah. Um…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (17:42.798)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (17:47.426)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (17:54.606)
Right, right, right.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (18:07.401)
I love it. I love it.
Rev. Jenn (18:11.459)
So anyway, to get back to your original thought, I think, yes, it comes in varying degrees, and I think it comes in incremental steps as we age and as we move along our human development.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (18:11.562)
Rev. Jenn (18:38.603)
but I’m often saddened.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (18:42.766)
Thanks for watching!
Rev. Jenn (18:44.447)
uh, that people don’t immerse themselves in that. But you know what? You have to, you have to be okay with your own darkness. And you have to be okay with your own pain. And a lot of people haven’t done enough work, um, or been exposed enough to, and people are afraid of the dark. People are, and that’s why I like to say I’m not afraid of the dark. And that’s one of the, that’s why I can show up in a place, um,
Curt Hammond (he/him) (18:47.199)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (18:52.184)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (18:59.84)
Rev. Jenn (19:11.399)
you know and really not know what’s gonna happen because I’m not afraid of the dark. A lot of people are afraid of the dark and
Curt Hammond (he/him) (19:22.151)
So there’s internal work needed to do this well, right?
Rev. Jenn (19:27.331)
Yeah, yeah, something has to be able to break open. If you’re not, that’s the real part of it. If you’re not gonna allow yourself to break open, the third space can’t become, become.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (19:30.985)
And that’s the real part, isn’t it?
Curt Hammond (he/him) (19:35.671)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (19:42.658)
It’s part of my…
Rev. Jenn (19:44.115)
It’s something that opens up as a result of something else. Yeah. And nothing gets more real than death and dying.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (19:46.742)
by price of admission is that real, right? Yeah, yeah.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (19:54.762)
Rev. Jenn (19:57.095)
I mean there are things that are that come close, right? Homelessness is very real. Being rejected by society is very real. You know, struggling with addiction and abandonment and…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (20:16.078)
There’s a definitiveness to your work, however, like those are things that are ongoing where may or may not impact others directly where that death is impacting a circle or multiple circles around that individual, right? So there’s the, yeah. Do you feel that when people, and I find the hospice experience just, well.
It’s beautiful, right? And it is such an important part of our wellness system. And it is such a gift to the community. When people and families show up of loved ones.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (21:01.622)
Are they, what are they thinking about? I don’t always bring it back to this word, but I’m wondering, what are they in service to? The families and loved ones around the individual who is in hospice. I’m kind of curious as to, they might, I’m wondering if they’re in service to making amends or apologizing or making amends.
plans? I don’t know, like I’m just, is it, can we generalize that? Maybe too big a question, but I’d be curious.
Rev. Jenn (21:36.008)
I think they’re in service of letting go. I think they’re in service of love, and I think they’re in service of…
Rev. Jenn (21:46.955)
Rev. Jenn (21:52.567)
There is nothing greater than the death and dying experience to confront, you are confronted with your powerlessness and how you can’t fix and how little control we actually have. Right? Like…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (22:14.767)
Do have, right? Right?
Rev. Jenn (22:18.991)
That’s, I’m often struck by that, like, it’s where you finally realize that you’ve really not had any power to begin with. You know, there’s truth to the saying that tomorrow is promised to no one. And you’re never more acutely aware than that, than in this setting.
People come in here, they’re in their 40s. People come in here and they’re children. People come in here and they’re elderly. People come in here, you know, and everybody has a terminal illness and nobody saw it coming and everybody has regret and everybody thought they had more time. And I will, I can promise you, everybody leaves here knowing it’s later than you think. It’s later than you think. And you’re only
gonna get, you know, one chance at this. So do it now, say it now, be here now, forget about your ego now.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (23:17.439)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (23:29.55)
Thanks for watching!
Rev. Jenn (23:35.3)
It’s not what… A lot about transcending this world is transcending everything that has kept us limited here. So I think they’re in service.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (23:46.258)
Right, and to itself. Yeah, yeah, right. Yeah.
Rev. Jenn (23:55.101)
of letting go.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (23:56.182)
Mm-hmm. That’s beautiful. Which many of us wouldn’t have experience at. Like this is going to, for a lot of people, this will be one of the few times in their life that they probably have to flex those muscles, right? Like they might not even know they’ve got them. Right. Because we don’t let go well.
Rev. Jenn (24:15.947)
We do not let go well. And there’s a saying in, I used to do a 12-step recovery program, and you’d often hear people say, oh, yeah, everything I let go of has claw marks in it. Well, this is the art of letting go softly, right? And I’m telling you, people leave claw marks in their loved ones before they let them go, too. But ultimately,
Curt Hammond (he/him) (24:30.878)
Yes, right. Right.
Rev. Jenn (24:45.155)
It’s a form of letting go.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (24:47.574)
So at that time, oh that’s a powerful statement, let me just think about that for a second. Around leaving claw marks as people as they’re letting go.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (25:02.382)
At that point, I’m going to assume many people then probably leave that space with just nothing but regret, knowing that initial, like, well, yeah, let me throw something out there and you tell me how wrong I am. I’m wondering that in that time where I’m saying my goodbyes, but I need you to hear this first, like, I’m wondering, that’s probably a step on my way to letting go?
and it’s just too bad I didn’t do that even a day before this is the last encounter we have. Like, I’m wondering, there’s a journey, where am I going with that? There’s a journey on this process to letting go and probably venting or releasing something is part of that. Is that, is that fair? Push back, you’re, I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Rev. Jenn (25:50.827)
Yeah, um, so yeah, no, so.
Rev. Jenn (26:00.283)
Letting go, leaving claw marks as people are leaving go, letting go would be like not offering forgiveness. Still wanting something from the person who’s transcending that they’re not in a position to give.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (26:24.129)
Rev. Jenn (26:25.375)
holding on to a sense of bitterness or entitlement or even regret, withholding forgiveness, withholding love, that’s really making it about what I didn’t get out of this relationship or it’s really making it’s reinserting the self into someone else’s dying process and that’s the leaving of the claw marks and
Curt Hammond (he/him) (26:42.326)
Yes. Totally. Mm-hmm.
Rev. Jenn (26:52.775)
We do. People really find it hard to let go of the past even when, like, sometimes we have to forgive people even though without an apology or whatever, right? They’re still waiting for that person to say something to them that they can’t.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (27:12.046)
Rev. Jenn (27:25.111)
So it’s unfortunate because we want to get to that space where it’s about service again, right? It’s about giving this person permission.
Rev. Jenn (27:37.479)
be free. And in order for me to give permission for somebody to be free, I need to be willing to be free. I need to be willing to be free.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (27:40.099)
I love that language. It’s very good.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (27:45.431)
Thanks for watching!
Curt Hammond (he/him) (27:50.646)
And when I reinsert myself, I love that language, when I reinsert myself back in this conversation on your death journey, I’m not free. I’m the one who’s not free, right? Yes, right, I’ve just tried to smoke down.
Rev. Jenn (27:57.759)
That’s right. And no longer are you.
Rev. Jenn (28:04.096)
Yeah, it just tied us both to resentment and guilt and regret and all those unhelpful things.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (28:05.578)
Yep, yep, yep. Right, because she’ll carry that.
Right, right. I want to, so good, I want to shift a bit, maybe just to your own experience. And there’s something in service where I’m making sure that after we’ve been of service, that we take time to step back, assess, learn, recharge, or go back to your cyclical conversation. I really do believe that good service has a beginning, middle, and end, right? And at that end, that’s a time for me to step back.
take a breath, and then assess what I’ve learned and see where else I can be serving.
Rev. Jenn (28:48.123)
So the beginning, the middle, and the end, and then the end becomes a beginning again. It is a circle. So.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (28:52.81)
right. That’s exactly it. In between that end and that beginning though, I need some time, right?
Rev. Jenn (29:00.219)
And that’s the liminal space, which is Advent. Advent is the liminal space. It’s the place where we’re at the beginning and the end. We’re both at the beginning and the end. And it’s blurred. The beginning and the end are blurred into something that is not one and it’s not the other. It’s something else. It’s a third.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (29:24.974)
Rev. Jenn (29:28.155)
that’s where and so yeah that’s where God is and so if I’m going to extract um an insight or a growth or a reflection usually for me it happens in seeing God like so when I reflect on a counter and I’m like I needed to hear that I needed to know that
I’d never heard that before. If it moves me to a different place, for me that is a direct, directly reflects the appearance of God.
and when God shows up.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (30:18.078)
Yeah, yeah, right.
Rev. Jenn (30:19.096)
And I feel I’m on like it reaffirms my call it reaffirms my commitment it reaffirms my everything about myself and to me that’s just like my heart explodes my heart my mind become one
Curt Hammond (he/him) (30:38.262)
And is that?
Rev. Jenn (30:38.407)
And so the vibration is loud, right? And so it all, that is my self-care. If I’ve seen God in something, I’m friggin’ cared for. I feel cared for.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (30:48.578)
Okay, okay, yeah.
Rev. Jenn (30:56.311)
So that is my self-care. Where was God in this? Where was God in this encounter? Where did God show up in this encounter? And if I can see that, I’m cared for. And my heart and my head are one, and my spirit. And that feels amazing.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (30:56.43)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (31:15.038)
Yeah, I love that. So beautiful. And that is that recharge for your batteries to leave that room, walk down the hall, and do it all over again.
Rev. Jenn (31:24.819)
Yeah, yeah. And sometimes it’s hard, right? Sometimes God shows me something that, you know, I’d rather not see. Like often the truth, when we’re talking about truth and things that are real, you know, what’s that saying? The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (31:32.651)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (31:45.62)
Rev. Jenn (31:49.404)
So that happens. That happens.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (31:52.394)
So how do you manage your energy? And I’m wondering, again, don’t want to pry too much, but I got the impression that you had some experiences in a congregation setting, because I think there’s something here around energy. And however I get fed, I need to make sure that next time I step into that service, for me to be authentic and meaningful and intentful with it, I got to make sure that my battery’s charged, right? So I’m wondering how…
Talk to me a bit about that energy piece and even on those things where, yeah, I didn’t like it, but I needed to hear it. How does Jen getting energy to walk either down that hall or come back the day tomorrow? And how does that experience maybe different or harder, easier than maybe how you found ways to recharge in a congregational setting?
Rev. Jenn (32:44.061)
Rev. Jenn (32:51.119)
So I do need a lot of, like I do, um, I do like a lot of alone time. I do need to have time to intentionally reflect. And I do need space. Um, so that happens. Excuse me, the end of the day. So that happens. Um, I give myself a lot of time and a lot of space to reflect. Um.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (32:57.23)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (33:10.144)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (33:20.2)
And is that reflection intentional? Is it journaling? Like is that?
Rev. Jenn (33:25.555)
Yeah, mostly it’s sitting and like looking out the window or reading a book or looking at my plants or doing something like soft.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (33:30.818)
Just being present. Yeah.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (33:40.531)
Rev. Jenn (33:45.471)
Yeah, I’m a very internal processor. It takes a while for me to feel what I’m feeling and then articulate what I’m feeling. Or I’ll usually feel what I’m feeling for a while before I actually get the cognitive ability to articulate it. So feeling my feelings is a big one. Allowing myself to just feel my feelings and be where I’m at without.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (34:04.297)
Rev. Jenn (34:13.211)
any judgment about it being good or bad. Just being. And then over time I’ll be able to articulate what was going on there. And having clarity is very refreshing.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (34:14.422)
Yes, yep, just really great.
Rev. Jenn (34:29.115)
And I have support groups and I have people that I talk to, but usually seeing God and having a sense of clarity around a feeling restores my energy.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (34:41.144)
I love that. Yeah.
How did that differ, again, not to pry, but curious, how did that differ from re-energizing, re-charging in a congregational setting?
Rev. Jenn (34:55.283)
So it was really hard to be energized by congregational ministry. Like I really wasn’t.
Rev. Jenn (35:11.135)
For that, I needed to be like, I needed, I just, I needed time away, right? Like I worked 85% of my time from home. I showed up at the church, you know, for a couple hours, two afternoons a week and on Sunday, like, mostly I was just saved by distance because everything was very one, very one, very one dimensional, one directional, one directional, right?
Curt Hammond (he/him) (35:24.304)
Thanks for watching!
Curt Hammond (he/him) (35:34.63)
and probably one directional.
Like, people were taking, I’m going to assume, let me take, let me take, let me take, hey, can I take some more, right?
Rev. Jenn (35:40.711)
Yeah. Right. That’s right. That’s right. Be this. Don’t be that. Should be this. Should be that. It used to be like this. How come it’s not like so very draining. That’s very draining and um.
Rev. Jenn (36:03.227)
Yeah, I needed to get out of that. One of the things where I knew I needed to get out is because I was caught up in all these opinions and politics and administration. And I’m like, I got into this because I wanted to be with the people. Where are the people? I feel like all the people are doing is yelling at me or whatever. Like, where’s the people? So here also, that’s one thing that’s really
Curt Hammond (he/him) (36:04.558)
Thanks for watching!
Rev. Jenn (36:29.347)
life-giving about like oddly life-giving about the dying experience Is that people’s priorities are more in order right like nobody’s talking about trump in this place. Nobody’s talking about friggin stupid shit Or whatever right like nobody’s talking about the things that divide us People are talking about the things that are bringing us together and that’s human connection and that Is very life-giving
Curt Hammond (he/him) (36:42.922)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (36:48.256)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (36:53.168)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (36:57.11)
Rev. Jenn (36:59.431)
I get to work in a soft space. You know.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (37:05.734)
Right. It’s hard space.
Rev. Jenn (37:06.291)
So it used to be that I worked in a hard space and my home was a soft space. Things have sort of flipped the script on me a little bit now and I work in a soft place and home is not as soft as it once was. So that’s an additional challenge.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (37:18.289)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (37:22.636)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (37:26.398)
I want to keep going down that road a bit if you don’t mind in terms of, and this is just more with the lens of, and again you were such a gift to Hope Springs when you came and hung out with us and shared your wisdom, you know.
congregational entities just seem to feed on.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (37:48.882)
anything but service. Or if I’m in service, it’s to a very folk, it seems to be, it’s very minutia driven versus something bigger. That’s my, I’m not articulating that overly well, but it’s kind of my observation. But there’s something about…
Rev. Jenn (38:04.019)
No, I think you’re right. I think you’re right. They’re in service, but they haven’t extracted themselves from the equation. Okay? The congregation hasn’t extracted themselves from the equation of service. Jesus was in service of community. Jesus didn’t expect the community to fill his needs. We are supposed to be Jesus. Or, you know, like we’re supposed to be in service of something that is larger than ourselves.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (38:11.1)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (38:23.758)
Right, right, right.
Rev. Jenn (38:33.811)
But congregations find it very hard to extract themselves from the equation. And I think they’re in service of the future. Who’s going to carry on? Where are we doing? Everything’s dying. What are we going to do? Who’s going to take over us? Who is going to follow through on the work that I started?
Curt Hammond (he/him) (38:51.254)
Right. It is legacy, right?
Rev. Jenn (38:55.167)
Right? Which is person-centered. It’s not God-centered. It’s not Christ-centered. We’re supposed to be in service of love. And love is bigger than all of us.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (38:58.626)
Mm-hmm, non-institution. Yeah.
Rev. Jenn (39:11.355)
until congregations can be in service of love, and only love.
they keep inserting themselves into the equation. And so it’s only, it’s not service to the, by definition. It’s.
Rev. Jenn (39:41.159)
Rev. Jenn (39:47.463)
It’s self-serving service.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (39:49.158)
Rev. Jenn (39:51.143)
if that works. I don’t know. It’s self-serving service. It’s like, and I’m not saying, you know what I mean, like I’m not saying they’re, you know, self-centered, negatistical, and they’re terrible. I think self-serving service still gets good work done. But it isn’t God’s, it isn’t, it isn’t an expression of the totality of God.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (39:59.292)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (40:17.098)
And I’m not sure it’s sustainable. I’m not sure it’s sustainable. And I wonder if this circles back to that recharge piece around. So I think what’s one of my big takeaways here is I really have to understand what I need to do to feel good, you know, it’s a mix of doing the work and then clearly understanding what I need from the situation.
Rev. Jenn (40:19.415)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (40:44.714)
now and later so I can extract myself to say yeah I’m here for you right and knowing that in doing so I’ve got that confidence and grounding and whatever I need to kind of remove myself knowing that I’m I’ve got other places in my life that can fill or recharge so I think there’s a there’s a practicality here around just knowing that this is going to my energy is going to flow this way now
And I’m good with that because I’ve got other places, I’ve got gas stations down the road I can go hook up to.
Rev. Jenn (41:17.787)
Right, and I think what came up for me when you were sort of rearticulating that was that whatever is done in the service of God and is done right is a flow and it’s not actually draining.
So that’s the sustainability piece. And a part of the reason why I can do what I do is because I’m getting as I’m giving, because that’s the nature of God, because it’s cyclical. And so when I’m in full service of God, when I’m in full service of love, it’s not actually draining. It’s life-giving.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (41:54.899)
Rev. Jenn (41:57.962)
And anything that is done in the totality of God is not draining. It’s life-giving.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (42:04.724)
That’s right. Even the hard stuff. Yeah.
Rev. Jenn (42:06.479)
even the hard stuff. Even the hard stuff. And I think that’s where congregations fall short is because they’re doing it linearly, like linear, like linear, like I’m going to do this for you. But they’re not doing it cyclically, where that’s probably wasn’t the word, but they’re not doing it in a circular fashion.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (42:20.883)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (42:26.954)
Rev. Jenn (42:30.951)
And so they’re not receiving from it. They’re just like, giving, and going, why, I do all this stuff, I do all this stuff. How come the people aren’t coming? Look at all we do. But if they would just be the love, or if they would just, if they could just extract themselves from the equation and become service, become love, I think they would find sustainability and energies are not.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (42:32.646)
Mm-hmm. Right. And no one… Right.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (42:59.114)
Yes. Right. And yeah, in fact, it would be feeding. And at that point, you also say, okay, I need to reflect. I need to rest. I need to like, then it becomes so much easier to say, that’s that off-ramp piece. And I really do think that good service has big definitive beginning, middles and ends. And that end is that it could be seconds, it could be weeks, it could be years. Who knows? But that’s that time for that space in between, which I loved your language on that.
Rev. Jenn (43:00.371)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (43:29.938)
It’s a chance for me just to check in, touch base, do what I need to do so I can get back into that next act of service, right? Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Rev. Jenn (43:38.859)
So you can step into the start again because the ending is the beginning. And the beginning is the end. And that’s why God is the beginning and the end.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (43:49.61)
Yes, totally. And not feel, because what I hear from some people in my first round of conversations was, well, I served well there, it seemed to be well received, so I just, I felt I had to do it all again right away. And what I think we need to do is, the beginning is the end, the end is the beginning. And in that transition, just make sure that we’re.
me, this is where we have permission to look back and say, what do you need? You need a weekend? No problem. You need a movie night? You got it. You need to exercise more? Whatever that is, that’s where we need to get ourselves permission to do that in order to as that beginning starts again. Does that make sense?
Rev. Jenn (44:34.827)
And you need to answer the question, where was God in that? Where did I see God in that? What did God show me in that? Where did God show up in that? Because the answer to that question will directly inform how you begin again.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (44:53.99)
that. Yeah, that’s beautiful.
Rev. Jenn (44:56.391)
It’s always, where was God in that? Where did I see God in that? Where was God at work in that? What did God show me in that? Where does God want me to go next because of that? Those are the questions I would be asking myself in my periods of reflection. Because again, it’s not about me, it’s about God. Which in my language, in my theology, in my conscience, in my… That means…
Where was love in that? Where did the true nature of love be revealed in that? What does love require of me? Where does love, you know, where did love show up? Where did I see it? And what does it require of me now? How did it change me? How did being confronted with a raw frigging reality of love…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (45:45.347)
Rev. Jenn (45:56.279)
How did that change me? Cause that’s how I’m gonna start again. As changed, changed. So it won’t be the same.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (46:00.142)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (46:04.206)
It won’t be the same. That’s right. I had another one of these chats on Monday, and we spent a little bit of time talking about how service and love relate to one another. What are your thoughts on that? How does the idea of love and service relate?
Rev. Jenn (46:22.251)
Well, I think it wants a byproduct. I think service is a byproduct of love.
Rev. Jenn (46:30.471)
Everything stems from love. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. And once it changes you, you are fundamentally changed. And you live from that place. And when you live from that place, you are naturally of service.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (46:45.299)
And for people who are uncomfortable with the love language, any thoughts on how we, and I’m always thinking about how we bring more people into this tent, right? And I think for us, the love service language is natural and we can put a faith lens on there. For some people it’s really uncomfortable, surprisingly so. Any thoughts on, and this will be my last question for you, such a gift to your time. Any thoughts on how we bring people into this?
with language that maybe isn’t scary.
Rev. Jenn (47:23.832)
Some people resonate with the word growth. Some people might resonate with human connection. Some people might relate to our true self. Self-actualization, if you want to go to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we’re all moving towards self-actualization.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (47:45.772)
Rev. Jenn (47:50.988)
um some people might
connect to words like immortality and leaving a piece of themself. All of these things are things that I would think would be a part of that, how you become fundamentally changed by…
Curt Hammond (he/him) (48:04.727)
Rev. Jenn (48:15.235)
the revealing of love. I think it’s God in service that people might shut down. I don’t know if people shut down when they talk about love because love is the one thing we’re all looking for.
Rev. Jenn (48:37.352)
Curt Hammond (he/him) (48:39.218)
I think so, and I think service to your point is a beautiful way to be giving and receiving, right? Like I think it’s the magic ingredient in all that.
Rev. Jenn (48:53.351)
Like, it’s very common for people to say God is love. But the other side of that coin is love is God. Love is God.
We’ve made God into a bajillion things.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (49:10.37)
Right, right, right.
Rev. Jenn (49:13.535)
But really, all God is, is love.
And if we can find that place, that will answer all our questions.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (49:28.838)
You are such a wise, articulate, thoughtful person. What a gift this has been. I am just so honoured that you have given up your times at the end of a day and a busy day, no doubt, to share this. I’m just so grateful.
Rev. Jenn (49:33.756)
Well, thank you.
Rev. Jenn (49:44.235)
Well, you’re welcome. I loved our chat and I’d be happy to do it again sometime, should you wish. And I’ve really enjoyed it too.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (49:52.242)
Thank you. With your permission, let’s just have a quick chat and then I’m going to let you go. This has been really good and my mind is racing and actually it’s funny I’ve had two of these chats this week and there’s some really cool bridges between the two conversations. With your permission, can I, would you be okay if I just took some time to reflect on this, maybe put some writing together and run it past you and then with the goal of A, my continued learning, B, maybe
putting something together that we could share with the world. Would that be okay? Okay, great. So, let me, and my commitment is that anything that goes out from both of us comes out from both of us, so it’s a process. At any point in that process, you say, no, I don’t want that to happen, all good. But let me play, with your permission, we’ll have to play with this for a bit. I think there’s some really interesting stuff here. Awesome, excellent.
Rev. Jenn (50:27.479)
Rev. Jenn (50:47.507)
Wonderful. I’m in.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (50:49.866)
Jen, thanks so much. It was really good to reconnect and I am grateful for your time.
Rev. Jenn (50:52.999)
Ah, you’re so welcome. Thanks, Kurt. It’s been wonderful and I hope we’ll see you again. Bye.
Curt Hammond (he/him) (50:57.014)
See you soon. Thanks, John. Take care, Harry. Thanks. Bye bye.