Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.” (Psalm 138:2)
It has been three months since my arrival in Allegan. During that time, I have experienced downtown life through Festive Fridays, having Carolers on my porch and the ball drop at the Waterfront. I have experienced some snow and lots of bitter cold weather. Throughout the season, I am thankful for the ways that God showed his faithfulness and love through interactions with members and neighbors of Allegan.
Well, now Christmas is over and a New Year has begun, so I wonder what new things God will do in and around us in 2018?
I am reminded of the newness of life each day when I wake up. For it is then that I walk to the large front window on the second floor of the manse to gaze out on the city of Allegan. It is quiet, and peaceful. Most days there is a new layer of snow. The snow has not been touched yet. There are no tread marks from cars, no footsteps or paw prints from pedestrians. It is as if we have a clean slate on which to write.
How we write on that clean slate is up to us. What we write though matters mostly to God. How will we experience the presence of God today? How will we discover his faithfulness and steadfast love today? How will we, through our actions and words, exalt his name on high?
So what will we make the most out of this new day, this new month, this New Year? In important ways, it is already in progress. In January, the session and I went through Leadership Training and we installed Sally Trabulsi and Judy Wood as elders during worship. We are now in the
midst of writing reports for the annual congregational meeting and planning the Lenten services that will take place beginning with Ash Wednesday.
Because the congregation really enjoys coming together over a meal, John and I will host a Pancake Supper on Fat Tuesday, February 13 at 5 pm. Other kitchen helpers are welcome. It may be that, during dinner, we will begin to dream about our future through the sharing of who we are today and who we want to be going forward.
The supper is just one way we can come together to give thanks for the faithfulness and steadfast love of the Lord, our God while beginning to write on that slate.
May God inspire and lead us in new and exciting ways this New Year! Amen!
I thank God for you,
Pastor Kathy Nealand