|From the Executive Director|
The first Monday back to work in the new year. I’m starting with a clean office and desk, something of a rarity for me but a nice way to start anew. I hope you had some time for rest, renewal and maybe even reflection during the busy-ness that are the holidays. Perhaps you are even taking some time away in January, a growing practice for many of our colleagues. The last week of the year is a traditional time of looking back and looking forward. I’ve preached enough sermons on Janus to know that is a regular practice/cliche for many of us.
For some of us 2015 was the best year of our life so far, for some it was the worst and for most of us it was somewhere in between. Since I lost my mom and some other people who were close to me I’d put it towards the worst side of the ledger but I won’t forget it. There is something about a clean office and desk, a new year on the calendar and a re-commitment to those spiritual and other practices that make a difference that rekindles excitement and possibility for the new year.
How about you? I wonder about our 1800+ members today and what they are thinking about the year ahead. Those of us who are in seminary studying and learning so they can live into the magical life of ministry they envision. I think of those recently received into fellowship who are engaged in the search process for the first time. Of those who are nearing the end of their active ministry and are looking forward with excitement and/or fear to retirement. To those who are struggling in congregations and institutions where they are looking for ways to share all their gifts while empowering those they serve to do the same. Or those who are on the front lines fighting for justice and see both the possibilities and challenges that community and people inspire. I wonder about those who are young, those who are old, and all those in-between and what dreams and prayers they have for 2016.
It is normal to say Happy New Year this first week of the year. I wish you that, of course. But I wish you more. I wish that you know love this year in all her joy and sorrow - both in its sharing and receiving. I wish that you experience the deep knowing that your ministry, your work in this world, make a difference in many lives and hearts; especially yours. I wish you the passion and contentment that comes with living an authentic life. I wish you to forgive your shortcomings and the courage to ask for help with those that cause you pain. And I wish that you have those in your life, including colleagues, who you are able to share all the good and not so good of the year ahead. Thank you for giving your life in service to something greater than yourself. I’m one of the lucky beneficiaries of that decision which is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the year ahead.