Happy New Year!

Someone recently commented that looking forward to 2022 was beginning to seem like 20too (or maybe 20two).  Meaning it feels like we are still in 2020 without much having changed. I would disagree.  A lot has changed and we are adjusting.

In this new year St. Paul’s leadership will be looking into the future.  Having adjusted to worship within a pandemic, with a need for volunteers and current volunteers being stretched, with a growing pre-school, strong leadership, financial challenges paired with amazing generosity and giftedness it is time to celebrate and adjust.

Adjustments have been made for the health and well being of this community.  It has been difficult.  There have been lost opportunities and feelings of loss for many.  It feels as if many of us are a bit frustrated and worried.  This is a difficult time.  The end of the pandemic stretches out into an unknown future.  We are thankful for vaccinations and watchful for variants.  Our thankfulness joins a concern for everyone’s health.

I wonder if we are in another time of significant change, re-forming again as a church and community.  Online worship, for example, was unheard of in recent history.   What does it mean now for a community of faith?  How are we a community in ways that were unknown in the past?  This is a conversation for all of us. We experience all of this as people of faith, sometimes confident and sometimes doubting. 

Here is the thing, the church is God’s.  We are God’s people.  The church, the community of faith, exists because God has called it into service for the sake of the world.  It has looked different through the ages.  Once again, we are adjusting and uncertain even while God is very certain that God’s mission will continue.

This new year like all that have gone before it holds 365 days with each day a new creation under God.  There will be joy and sadness, life and death.  What we trust in faith is that all of this is held in the embrace of God’s love and nurtured in God’s hope.

May you have a blessed New Year,
Pastor Linda Gunderson †

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