“Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5
Happy New Year!
No, you’re not reading the newsletter for January. But the two of us, have discovered something interesting over our years in the ministry. There are actually two “new years” moments during a calendar year. One is of course the time around January 1. The other is in late summer and early fall, at the beginning of an academic year. This is especially true in a community such as Bowling Green, where the impact of a major university and a large public school system are so strong.
How does this impact the life of the church? In this fall “new year” we’ve noticed changes in the behaviors of our church family. Some people who have been relatively absent begin to attend regularly. As the choir gathers, we may see a new face or two. A new person may want to be a reader or usher or children’s leader on Sundays, or perhaps go onto the Refreshment Time list. Someone may express interest in one of our ministries, perhaps sorting clothes for the Deacons’ Shop. Already this year we’ve had a new volunteer to resurrect our First Friday fellowship nights (see article inside). What about helping with the CROP Walk, or volunteering in the office? All in all, there is typically some good new energy for new things around the church in this special time of year.
As the Bible quotes above and below indicate, this is not just a matter of fortunate timing. We are in touch with sacred mysteries as we feel the nudge of the Lord to turn a page, to leave some things behind and to refresh our lives with new ways to love and serve through the church.
So we’d like to prime the pump a bit and suggest some areas that are ripe for new ministry and service. We’ll be opening up a Confirmation Class in mid-September, and this will create all kinds of opportunities. We’ll need some special speakers to talk with the youth about particular areas of church life; we’ll need some cooks; we ‘ll need some mentors to befriend particular confirmands and enrich their experience of church. Another realm that will open is the work of the Nominating Committee. These faithful folks will be meeting, praying, deliberating, and asking folks to consider serving as elders, deacons and trustees starting in January. Is this a year when the Lord will call you into service in one of these ways?
One last realm of service comes quickly to our minds. We’ll soon be entering our Season of Gratitude – the time when we ponder God’s gifts to us, consider the ministries, worship and fellowship of the church, and then make estimates of how much of our time, talent and treasure we plan to offer in 2018. We’ve seen in 2017 how important these estimates are – they’ve allowed us to have an extraordinary church program, but also limited us in some difficult ways. As we look ahead with fresh energy in this “new year,” let’s open our hearts to savor God’s generosity through this church and then prepare to imitate it.
Off we go! The Lord leads the way! May this be a season of the Lord’s “new things” for each of us and for all of us together.
Yours in Christ,
Mary Jane & Gary
Behold, I am about to do a new thing.” Isaiah 43:19