A Blessed New Year to All!!!

by Pastor Suzanne:

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

As I write this final reflection for 2020, I am pausing to think about 2020 and looking forward to 2021. It feels like 2020 has been around forever! Looking back at my calendar, it almost seems like a lifetime ago that we had worship services in-person, went to meetings, had meals at restaurants, went shopping, and gathered with friends without a second thought. We have been socially distancing and wearing masks for nine months and while the end is in sight it will not be immediate. We will start 2021 much the same as we are ending 2020.

So even though we are still wearing masks and separating ourselves physically, I am looking forward to what 2021 will bring. Each day more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine and that is wonderful news. I am thankful for the many ways that our three congregations have become one expanded community of faith and I am excited to see where the Holy Spirit will take us in 2021. I am grateful for the partnerships with Pastor Jerry, the staff, and the members of the UPG. I am grateful that we are all joining in ministry together.

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, I never seem to keep them anyway, but this year I want to be more intentional about the rhythm of my days. To be the best me I can be, I want to find a greater balance each day. A healthy mind, body, and spirit needs rest, nutrition, exercise, prayer, and laughter each day. As I aim to become more balanced in my life, I invite you to join me on this journey. Together we can help each other to grow and develop into the people that God created us to be.

A healthy person starts with adequate rest. The mind, the body, and the spirit all need time to refresh and rejuvenate. While the amount of sleep that each person needs is different, we can encourage one another to get the rest our bodies need. We need to fuel our bodies so let us help each other to be more intentional in eating a variety of foods so that we get our nutritional needs met. Let’s get some exercise together. I am hopeful that we will be able to resume our group walks once the weather turns warmer. Walking together makes it much more fun. That also leads to some laughter too! Let’s spread some cheer this year, after all, laughter is known to be the best medicine!

Finally, we need to take time to talk with God in prayer and in reflection and meditation. We can not know what God is calling us to do and be if we do not listen to what God is telling us. Have daily conversations with God, make it a habit. The more we listen and talk with God, the more our relationship with God and each other will grow.

So many possibilities for 2021! The virus could not stop Christmas from coming and it can not stop us either. I am grateful for each of you and hope that we will continue to walk together in this journey we call life. Stay positive, stay well, and know that above all God loves you!

In Peace,

Pastor Suzanne


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