The Hero’s Journey Revisited

The Hero’s Journey Revisited


June 12, 2024
A Note from Pastor April
Greatest Hits

Beloved Friends,

This summer marks four years that we’ve been writing you a letter each week. So much has happened in these last few years, and it feels like it might be helpful to celebrate the amazing things that God has done during that time.

So this summer we are going to revisit some of those letters we wrote over the years, starting with the first.

Think of it as a “Greatest Hits” or “Letter of Encouragement Essentials” soundtrack.

We are not the same people we were in the summer of 2020 and beyond, and I hope as these words reach your inbox in the place where you are in 2024, they will find new meaning and life and EN-COURAGE-MENT for you.


Harry Potter

I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale.

Not the drippy romantic kind where the prince comes and rescues the princess from mortal danger, but the kind where the heroine or hero takes the adventurous and often perilous journey leading to the discovery that there is more within them than they ever imagined.

It’s the magic of seeing Rapunzel bravely leave her tower and discover that she is the long lost princess that the floating lanterns were reaching out toward.

It’s the delight of watching Harry Potter come out from under the cupboard under the stairs to learn that all this time he has been a famous wizard.

It’s the joy of seeing Moana breaking free of the expectations of her family and listening to her calling to the sea.

Watching a character enter into an entirely new world has its own adventure and enjoyment, but what always gets me are the moments when they realize the rich and meaningful treasure within themselves that had been there the whole time. Storytellers call this the archetypal “hero’s or heroine’s journey.”

Inevitably, the heroine begins her journey because something or someone has interrupted the status quo. Sometimes it is a tragedy or loss, sometimes it is a person bringing unexpected news, and sometimes it is a longing that cries out from deep within the heart, telling her… there. is. more.

The hero’s journey moves forward when he can see that this interruption is more than just an inconvenience, more than just a challenge to be endured… but perhaps an invitation to be a part of something larger.

And when he courageously says YES.

After the disruption that all of us have endured in the last four months (of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020), I’m sure you have already made the connections to the moment we are in. Whether we wanted to or not, we have been invited into something that is larger than just us. We’ve been invited to courageously journey into some unknown places.

What many of us are discovering is that there is more within us than we previously imagined. More courage. More strength.

Also more hurt. More pain and sadness that we didn’t see or understand before. More stories that need to be unlearned so that we can move past the hurt and into a place of liberation.

And more depth and beauty and resilience and love than we can ever fully understand in a lifetime.

In the end, the heroine’s journey is never about arriving at some destination.

Taking a look at Jesus’s life will help us see this even more clearly! It isn’t about victory or even about “moving beyond” the trauma of the past.

But it is about discovering along the way the practices that allow for healing, learning, listening to our own voice, and living FULLY in the present moment we’ve been given.

The longer I’ve spent in the Hilliard UMC community, the more delighted I’ve been to discover how many of you have said YES to this hero’s journey. This was true before the pandemic, but it seems especially true now.

And when you are out there on the journey, it can be scary, it can be thrilling, it can be overwhelming, and it can be lonely.

So I want to start writing to you each week. I want to find another way to connect with you, this community of beloved people I have come to know and love so deeply.

I want to connect more in part because I miss you so much, but also because I am right there with you on the journey. And I want you to know that we’re still in this together.

So, we’ll be sending you — in this YEAR OF COURAGE (2020) — a Letter of En-COURAGE-ment every week or so! Some weeks the letter will be from me, some weeks from Pastor Jon, and some weeks from other leaders in our church.

I hope it will remind you that you remain deeply loved, and that it will en-COURAGE you to keep saying YES on this heroine’s journey.

Sending grace, peace, and love,

Pastor April

The Rev. April Blaine
Lead Pastor

Reverend April Blaine, Lead Pastor
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