“New year, new you,” the advertisements proclaim in an attempt to seduce us into purchasing whatever they are selling. The advertised product promises to bring whatever self-fulfillment or self-improvement we are seeking.
The truth is actually: new year, same you. Same me. Which is not bad news: I love us, just as we are! Nothing magically changes when we turn the calendar page. The ads focus on what we are lacking rather than celebrating “we just made it through another year”! How did we do it? What sustained us? Inspired us?
The new year does offer a chance to RENEW our commitments to the things that nurture us in the fullness of who we are created to be. We will celebrate a baptism this Sunday and renew our baptismal covenant. “ Will you continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? “
On January 23, we will renew our commitment to the vision and mission of Good Shepherd as we gather for our annual parish meeting, review the past year and elect new members of our Vestry (bios included in this newsletter).
On January 30, our commitment to worship and fellowship will be renewed with a new schedule for Fifth Sundays: one lay-led worship service at 10:30 am followed by a potluck lunch (details on meals TBA as we receive latest covid guidance and guidelines).
“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?“ We have been offered opportunities to be in relationship with our neighbors through the Bethel Men’s Shelter and Habitat for Humanity. Consider what you can offer of your time and gifts. We know these efforts will renew us. Sometimes loving ourselves is the hard task.
Hope and Grief will offer those mourning a loss of any kind a space to explore where God is at work within them. “ Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?“ Hope and Grief Class: Thursdays at 4:15-5:30 (January 13, 20 27 & February 3) This class is for anyone who has experienced a loss of any kind and is looking to connect with the hope and healing of our faith. It is open to the public; if you know anyone who might benefit from support in their bereavement. Please contact Amanda, firstname.lastname@example.org. Another class will be scheduled in February to accompany those who cannot attend at this time..
January 17 is Martin Luther King Jr. day. York offers a MLK breakfast and parade to celebrate changemakers past and present and renew the call to justice.
The response to each of these questions of the baptismal covenant is “I will, with God’s help.” Of course, we all enter a new year with unmet desires and hopes. We all have “things done and things left undone”, as our confession says. We are likely aware of areas of growth, pain points, and things we would like to change about ourselves.
With God’s help. New year, same God. Same grace. Same divine love that offers renewal and peace.
With joy, Amanda