January 3, 2024- New Beginnings

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The new year has begun again as it often does for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere: in the bleak midwinter. As we put away the decorations, clean out the fridge, and perhaps set our sights on some personal goals, we also find ourselves in a season of relative dormancy in the natural world. For some of us, this is welcome quiet: the perfect backdrop for starting fresh. For others, it presents a period of emptiness: lackluster and gloomy days followed by long nights while we wait for things to come alive again.

However we handle this season (or however it handles us), the turn of the calendar page, the restart of the liturgical year, the reality that our days are getting longer again, all point us in the direction of a new beginning. Whatever we are feeling, how well (or not) it is with our souls, there stands an invitation to start again. A new year is not a do-over, but it is a reminder that it’s not too late. We can still forgive, still cry out for peace and compassion, still awake from complacency, still pray for our friends and our enemies. 

The next several weeks in worship will offer opportunities for new beginnings. This week, we’ll observe epiphany, selecting star words to guide us through the coming year. The following week we’ll recall the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, renewing our own baptismal vows together. And on Jan. 21, we’ll host our Annual Meeting, committing to plans for the first of our next 50 years together. 

I hope you’re able to join either in the room or online as we share in these services together. For however this new year finds us, better it finds us in the company of others as week seek to follow God’s guiding light.

Pastor Jen