By; Conference Minister Diane Weible
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
You may think it’s a bit early to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions, but I was in a couple of gatherings yesterday that got me thinking. People were talking about how eager they are for 2020 to be finished. All I could think of was that on January 1, we are still going to be in pandemic, and we are still going to have the racial and divisiveness issues we need to confront.
In a year when so much of how we do church and relationships and life has changed, I have decided that I will also change the way I approach New Year’s Resolutions. For 2021, my New Year’s Resolution will be to look back at all I have received from 2020 and look forward to all I have yet to learn in 2021.
For all of the difficulties 2020 has brought, there are things I have to be thankful for:
- I have connected with people I had lost touch with.
- I have had time to gain clarity about God’s call in my life, especially around the work of racial justice and dismantling white privilege.
- I have seen the needs in my community and world with fresh eyes and I am motivated to make a difference.
- I have been able to worship in so many churches or listen to pre-recorded sermons or just drop in for a bit on a special service. It is an opportunity that Zoom/Facebook/You Tube has afforded me that I usually don’t get to experience when traveling to churches by car.
- I have been reminded of the importance of covenant and community as I have watched, supported and been supported by so many in this Conference and the wider church.
That’s the start of the list. In the coming weeks as I receive God’s gift of the Christ Child and lean into the ending of this year, I know my list will grow, just as God’s gifts of hope, peace, joy and love have expanded the lens through which I view the world.
No matter what the circumstance, I have a lot to learn. I give thanks for this community, this Conference, that has supported me, encouraged me, challenged me and learned with me.