In the liturgical calendar, the “new year” actually starts with Advent, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. It always catches me a little by surprise, even though I know when the holidays fall on my calendar. It is with the “new year” theme in mind, that the Revgals offer this prompt:
NaBloPoMo Day 22: What’s your spiritual resolution for Year C?
I have two resolutions and they are very intertwined…
- to “finish strongly” with our present congregation, Church in Bethesda
- to “begin humbly” with a new church family, wherever it will be, in 2016.
It’s hard for me to write about the process our church is going through right now. I have been a part of its leadership, serving in various capacities, preaching very infrequently, and loving the saints God brought through the doors. There was, as Carrie Newcomer sings, “Room at the Table for everyone.”
There was a radical welcome, but it was not enough. A convergence of problems signaled it was time for a change.
In the last eighteen months, we lost about half of our regular attendees due to transfers and moves to other parts of the country. We were not able to retain a large enough congregation to meet our budget and do some necessary capital improvements and repairs. And we couldn’t afford to keep Todd, our lead pastor, full-time. In the midst of the swirl of changes within our church, God was leading Todd into the discernment process with The Episcopal Church. Our Sunday worship will morph into something new and, as of yet, unknown.
So I stand in the swirl of the the liturgical year and the calendar year in a peak of emotions and wonderings… knowing that God is in the mix and I am, without a doubt, completely loved.
And for now, that is enough.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
I Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)