For a few years, when we both lived in the same city, I used to spend New Year's Eve with a friend from high school, her husband and two young sons. One New Year's Eve, several other friends joined the party. After dinner, we all decided to write our top New Year's resolution on a piece of paper, then put it in a basket. We mixed them all up, then passed the basket around the table, each drawing a slip and trying to decide who had written that resolution. It wasn't easy, since all the adults had put down similar self-help kinds of goals - losing weight, exercising more, etc. We all laughed when someone read this resolution: "I want to gain weight next year." We had no trouble agreeing - this resolution had to be from ten-year-old Graham (and we were right.)
As we consider the positive changes we would like to make for 2016, let us think beyond the givens of better health and more organized work habits to ways in which we can more fully respond to the love of God made flesh in God's Son. As individuals, as congregations and as a parish, may we be open to God's Spirit moving among us, calling us to be bold witnesses of God's grace. May 2016 bring some surprises - in the way we receive God's astounding love and with whom we share it!
Our parish prayer list is growing! This is not a bad thing when it means more and more family members and friends are being lifted up to God with prayers for healing and strength. Taking someone off the list isn't a bad thing either when that person's health or situation have improved. Please take a look at the attached list and see if someone you know can be taken off the list or if you would like to add someone. You can respond to Rhonda Womble at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Please keep in your prayers: Sharon Everette and Iris Poff, both recently hospitalized and recovering at home and the family and friends of Eric Fendley, who died last week. (Eric's listing on the prayer list is being changed.)
Thank you, St. Mark and Zion, for the kind and generous Christmas gifts you have given me. I consider it a blessing to be your pastor and look forward to an exciting year of ministry ahead in 2016!
Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world. - C.S.S. Lewis
Yours in Christ,