HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Truly, I wish you a – Happy – New – Year.
It is my sincere wish for each of you to be happy, for your families and friends to be happy, for our church to happy and joy-full, for our community to be happy. “New” is all about possibilities and opportunities, fresh starts, curiosity, and perhaps novelty. And “Year” means 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes (as the song goes). We’ve got a year in which to put positive, life-giving opportunities into action. We don’t have to achieve happiness overnight.
For the past two years we have been stuck in a holding pattern because of a world-wide pandemic, something out of our control. And yet individually we’ve been able to figure out how to go on living – getting our groceries, staying sheltered, finding hope in medical advances, and blessings among our families and friends. Gradually we are learning how to take the “panic” out of “pandemic”.
Many aspects of our church life have also been on hold, some due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus and others due to the uncertainty around ministerial leadership. Wayne Hughes has provided stellar leadership in Pastoral Care and by stepping in to carry much of the load during Rev Keltie’s medical leave. In addition, we thank Rev Phil Spencer and Rev Debra Bowman who will continue to provide leadership to us until the end of June 2022. We also have each other. We are not alone. As the Bible repeatedly says “Do not be afraid”. Like the COVID situation we need to look at what we can control and focus on that. As I write this, in-person worship is once again on hold on the recommendation of our Communicable Disease Prevention Committee in consultation with Public Health Orders. Worship services will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel. On January 18 we hope to receive encouraging new health orders from Dr Bonnie Henry, and then we’ll adapt again.
You are intelligent, compassionate people. Your concern for others is evident by the support groups that continue to operate (in-person or virtually) over the past 2 years. Thank you for your care and generosity. Thank you to Council and committee members and staff who continue to do the work of the church.
Now, in this new year of 2022, it is time for everyone to step up, to shake off the dust of hibernation and to re-engage. Please participate in the Visioning Process, either in-person or via zoom or with a note or letter to Rev Deb Bowman. On January 16 we were planning to talk about values that will guide our future as a congregation. Please spend a little time thinking about what those values are. The Visioning Team is meeting on January 7 to determine how our values discussion might unfold, and will keep us informed about next steps.
On February 13 we will be holding our Annual General Meeting, though we don’t know right now if that will be in-person or virtually or a hybrid meeting. At that time we will review our financial situation and talk about the life and work of our church. Please start thinking about how you can contribute to this happier life and make a positive difference.
Let’s create a church community that you want to belong to. A community of spiritual nourishment and exploration in a safe, warm and welcoming space (both physical and virtual). Watch the newsletter and website for short-term projects that need your hands and heart and mind. I welcome all your ideas and suggestions through email to councilchair @ comoxunitedchurch.com.
Right now I can’t see any further into the future than you can. As our eyes adjust to the dimness, things will begin to take shape and we will move forward.
Happy New Year!