I remember the excitement and joy of selecting a name for our children. It was not easy, we poured over baby name books for hours, yet little by little we began selecting and putting names together. Some early favorites did not make it while others kept on coming up. Our goal was to find a name that “fit” our dreams, hopes, and desires for this child. In some ways naming became a sort of invocation, a calling of God’s promises and our promises on this child. It is not surprising then that in scripture God uses naming as a powerful tool that speaks of a change in a person’s life.

Spirit Stirrer was a name (a description) given to me. Out of a very difficult time a close friend poured out in poetic utterance and named me. Sharing in this pain and this naming changed my life. It was a gift of God’s grace. At the time I did not realize it. Others were given names also and we had a wonderful time decoding who was who (see like a great poet she allowed for us to figure out who was who and after much banter she revealed it).

Last week I had a dream about this “name,” I was told to use it. I was not sure how, dreams are like that, what I knew was that I needed to claim it. After a conversation with my name giver I decided that it was ok to use it as the name for my new blog.

I hope this medium becomes a conversation about life together. As I begin my work as pastor of Squyres United Methodist Church I am aware of the importance of community. As Christian people we claim that our life together is made possible by God’s Spirit. It is this Spirit that I hope is stirring all of us towards one another and towards God.

I am blessed and honored to be given the opportunity to be a catalyst, an agent, of God’s initiative in the lives of people. I pray this medium extends that ministry, the ministry of the church, to all that God sends this way!

Peace, Juan+