Welcome to the Lord’s Year 2022! You might be thinking, “How is this year going to be different?” It already is! Because we are doing many things that we didn’t a year ago. It is a good time to take stock of how far we’ve come. There are the obvious things, like returning to in-person worship and the choir and the amazing music program we had during Advent. But there are also many things happening in the background, from how we are managing our finances, emerging plans for stabilizing our building, new ideas about missions, and of course, me, as your new pastor. The church is alive and will become more active and alive in 2022. I could not be more excited than to be on this journey with you!
We are studying Romans in our Bible studies. If you haven’t already, please consider joining us on Sundays after church in-person, and on Tuesdays at 10 am on Zoom. Romans is a book to come back to time and time again, because it describes the whole of the Apostle Paul’s theology. More importantly for us, though, it shows how Paul talks to people in the richest, most powerful nation on earth. In a lot of ways, Paul is talking to us! He shows the importance of women in the ministry of the early church, in ways that remind us of the central and growing role of women in the life of our church and the church worldwide.
We will finish Romans by Lent. In Lent, I will start a class about being “Presbyterian in a Changing Church.” Presbyterianism is all about representation and equality. When we do it right, it is welcoming and life-giving, bringing the love of Jesus to individuals and the community in the way we hope for. We will study scriptures and other resources that will make this hope come alive in our church. The study is for everyone who wants to participate in growing the church. For those of you who aren’t already members, by attending these studies, you will be eligible to join the church at Easter, if you choose.
These are the Sunday worship services I am planning for January:
January 2: “The Remnant Awakens” Jacob became Israel, the one who wrestles with God. The most beautiful things are made from remnants and broken things. God recreates beauty in us.
January 9: “You are Precious in My Sight” In the waters of baptism, we die and rise again in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
January 16: “One in Creation” Caring for the environment and caring for people are the same thing. Jesus turned water into wine and celebrated creation.
January 23 and 30: We settle into Ordinary Time, like the people of Judah did in the rebuilt temple in Nehemiah. And we learn that love is for all. There is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time!
2022 will be an amazing year for me and for you. I can’t wait to travel on the road with you!
In the Grace and Peace of Our Lord Jesus,