New Year/New Birth/New Us
Well, we made it to a new year, welcome to 2015! I have been told that the end of 2013 did not leave much excitement for the beginning of 2014 for this church. Hope was dwindling, and there was little to no joy for the coming of something new. So it is understandable that the ringing in of the New Year, one year ago, was not as festive you may have hoped. Although, maybe it was a time to take a breath and refocus on allowing God to work in God’s time, and give over our fears, doubts, and concerns that had been holding us back. And then, you ended up with me. (I’ll allow you to determine whether that is a good or bad thing)
For Ashley, Braylon, and I it was a rushed season with a flurry of phone calls, trip planning, emails, worship and sermon preparations, arranging family to come stay with Braylon, while Ashley and I traveled, and plenty more. Our uncertainty was overwhelming as we faced the chaos of knowing that we would be moving, but not knowing where or when, what it would mean for Ashley and work, Braylon and school, and so many other odds and ends. When Ashley and I packed the car and headed to Collinsville to meet with the PNC we were unsure of what to expect, and we were not even sure of how we were approaching the process with this congregation. Our trip was filled phone calls, emails, and some very strange signs from God before we even arrived in Collinsville. But God is good, and knows the plans for our good.
Needless to say, but looking back one year ago, the first week of 2014 held something amazing for all of us. Now, there is the issue of the snow. I am not sure why all of the snow we have experienced here this year all happened at once, but you sure know how to put on a show. Our husky, Obi, would really like it if you would have spread that snow out into this winter.
SO what is ahead for us in 2015? A new birth is ahead for us. I do not think it is coincidence that Christmas was just over 9 months from my starting here. We have been working very hard in changing our building, changing our style, changing our understandings that over the last 9 months is much like a pregnancy. And now, at the beginning of 2015, we are as in labor pains for this new thing that God is doing in and through us. These birth pangs may take some time, the delivery will not be fast, and it may not be easy; but there is new life that is coming, and this is a year for us to be more joyous than ever before.
I look forward to seeing what wonderful things 2015 will bring as we learn to crawl, and walk, and talk, and run, and play, and especially share. May God’s favor shine on you all this year.
Blessings and Peace,
Donations in memory of Richard Bilderback - Gary Childress; memory of Raymond Huber - Christine Scaturro, Joyce Achenbach, John & Mary Jane Ostanik, Kenneth Staley, Sandra Gray; memory of Louise Busiere - Bernie & Jo Kunz, Fred & Jerri Greenley, Paul & Mary Lee Muniz, Rod & Thilerna French;
Heads of committees need to submit their committee reports for the Annual Report by Tuesday, January 20th. Congregation Meeting will be on Sunday, January 25th after Worship. All members are encouraged to be present.,