Greetings from the second day of the year, beloved community! I pray this note finds you and yours awash in the hope, peace, joy, and love that has come to us in Christ! Knowing that sometimes the holidays are filled with more stress or different people or unfamiliar rhythms that can add to the days’ challenges, I hope that in the midst of it all, you have experienced the rest in knowing that God is with you, and that you are loved and never ever alone!

If your proclivities are anything like mine, this time of year may invite you to consider new resolutions, new promises or practices to deepen your living. Whole industries arise under this notion of ‘new year, new you,’ capitalizing on humanity’s renewing hunger for better, more abundant, more sustainable, more healthy living. I have certainly felt that pull these days!

Joy Gambill shared the blessing below to her Conversations Sunday School class yesterday as a new year’s word to them. I read it and instantly fell in love. Would that this be so! Would that our life together as a church and as Church be such a space of hospitality! Would that our rooms fill to overflowing with “ordinary grace, and light spill from every window!” Would that it be here that love will find its way! Would that all find refuge! Would that this year pulse with the promise of Christmas!

For all that will be and all that will come, all that will frighten and grieve and enliven and delight, all that will unfold within and among us in 2020, I am holding this blessing close for us, dear church. It is gift upon gift for God to dwell among us, and to dwell together in such a season. Happy new year!

A Blessing
Jan Richardson

Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
in welcome,
threshold swept
and waiting,
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
to you.

Let it be blessed
in every room.
Let it be hallowed
in every corner.
Let every nook
be a refuge
and every object
set to holy use.

Let it be here
that safety will rest.
Let it be here
that health will make its home.
Let it be here
that peace will show its face.
Let it be here
that love will find its way.

let the weary come;
let the aching come;
let the lost come;
let the sorrowing come.

let them find their rest,
and let them find their soothing,
and let them find their place,
and let them find their delight.

And may it be
in this house of a year
that the seasons will spin in beauty;
and may it be
in these turning days
that time will spiral with joy.
And may it be
that its rooms will fill
with ordinary grace
and light spill from every window
to welcome the stranger home.

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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