Reflecting on the Past Year

I’m writing today reflecting on my first year with you. Today is our one year anniversary! I feel so happy and grateful that God has brought us together to do ministry in this time and in this place. I am full of hope, too:

*for a prosperous 2016 where new ministries will germinate
*that our leadership will develop a forward-looking vision of who we are and who we want to be
*that we will continue to grow into our radical welcome. Remember, God is calling us to ‘unlock the flock!’

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions. Are you? I imagine God sees every day, maybe every minute, as a new opportunity to break into our lives, nudging us to start fresh. While Sunday is the first Sunday in Ordinary Time, it is far from ordinary. We’ll hear, once again, the story of Jesus’ baptism which reminds us of our own baptisms, and the promise we made to follow in the way of the Christ.

Jesus’ baptism publically establishes his relationship with God: he is the son, “the Beloved.” God names Jesus as one who is precious in God’s eyes. The word “beloved” originates from be + loven, or to love. As God’s children, we, too, are named as God’s dearly loved. Though many of our younger generations are not baptized, that doesn’t make them any less beloved.

To be loved means we are also called to embody love, to demonstrate love to others. Though we are not perfect, we make mistakes, and all of us behave un-Christlike at times, we are named and claimed by our relationship with God. God let’s us start over again every day! Baptism is like a New Year’s resolution + baptism – a bapti-lution – to remember our beloved-ness so we can pass it on. Baptism is a symbol of God’s generous grace: we are given the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and begin anew.

I pray that I may continue to learn from my mistakes, to begin anew with courage, love, and generosity as we continue our journeys of faith together.

See you in church!

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