January, 2015 Page 1


As we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, this Christmastide, which is twelve days long, and as we prepare to welcome the new calendar year, we have an opportunity once again to look back over the past year and look ahead to the new one. This has been an eventful year, indeed. And, the generosity of spirit of our parish members was manifested richly, particularly in these special seasons of Advent and Christmas through the giving of our time, talents and treasures.

Thanks to all of you who have worked so diligently to make this a joyful time for many people in so many ways.  These included our participation in the Annual Advent Musical which collected our largest donation of non-perishable goods for M&M Food Pantry; our purchasing of the Angel tree gifts; our ringing bells for the Salvation Army; our Sunday worship services at Sterling Meadows; and our continued outreach ministry with the teens at Gateway Children’s Services.

Also a special thanks for all the hard work that our Vestry members did this past year. We are sad that Mary Ratliff, Greg Camp and Allen Blair’s terms on Vestry have come to an end as they have been extraordinary and gifted leaders.  And, we welcome John Peck, Becky Priest, Julia Waller and Jennifer Walker as our new Vestry members.

As we end the year of 2014 and, then, begin the year of 2015, I invite us to think about the many ways that God has blessed each of our lives and our life together and respond prayerfully out of a sense of gratitude. It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. Melodie Beattie, a well-known American author, wrote the following about gratitude: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

The gratitude that we experience does, indeed, make sense of our past.  It can provide us peace in our present.  And, on the threshold of the potential only God can fully see for us, gratitude provides a vision for our future.  For this coming year, we know, we will see God’s kingdom coming. We will step into it. It is only the specifics that have not been revealed.

Gordon and I wish you the very best in the season of God’s greatest gift to us—God’s very self.

In Christ's love,