Pastor Linda Settles
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here we are at the end of a year that was interesting, to say the least. There were times of despair as we are reminded of loved ones who went home to glory, and as we continued to plod our way through the Covid-19 pandemic, with all of its related variants, vaccines, and masks.
But there were also glimmers of light sprinkled throughout the year. Times when the kindness of strangers rang through loud and clear. When we realized that there truly are angels living among us because they were there – at the hospital, at the scenes of disasters, and at the many funerals and memorial services to which they have given witness. Yes, 2021 was a year of mixed emotions.
What lies before us is an opportunity. An opportunity to not forget 2021, but to take all of those emotions, the triumphs and the tragedies we endured, and go into 2022 with a renewed sense of purpose! Someone needs the comfort that only you can provide because you’ve been there. Someone needs to hear that they are not alone in this world. Someone needs to know that they are loved by a big God…and loved by YOU! The question is: Who is that someone in your life?
This is our year of engagement, church. In fact, our theme for the year is: Engage! Think about your car for a moment. When you turn the ignition on, the next thing that you do is to shift the car into gear. Did you know that that is an act of faith? You don’t see the gears turning, you don’t see what’s going on under the hood. You have faith that the car is going to do what it is supposed to do because it was designed that way. All you have to do is to engage. That’s faith!
And it’s the same with our Christian faith - like that gearshift, you don’t see where God is leading you, or what’s going on under the spiritual hood. Our job is simply to engage and let God do what God does! Oh, the places we will go when we allow Jesus to take the wheel!
2022 is just starting but I have faith to believe that it’s going to be a good year, the year of the Lord’s favor! Oh, 2020 caught us off guard, and in 2021 we began to venture out, but 2022 is coming, church. It’s time to engage!
Engage your faith, put it in gear, come out from our comfort zones and be a witness to the world of the love of the Savior who makes a difference in our lives! My hope is that we as a church engage with people like never before in 2022. We have ministries starting that will help us to get engaged, small groups, and Bible studies. As one commercial used to say: Let’s get out there!
I hope you can be with us this Sunday, the 1st Sunday of a brand new year! We will begin a new Sermon Series based on our theme for the year: Engage! This week will be Engaging Our Faith. Join us in-house at 10:00am. If you cannot worship with us in-house, you can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Save the Date! The Spiritual Gifts Masterclass will roll out on Tuesday, January 4! This class will stir up the gifts in you and help you to see how God has uniquely gifted you. You can watch the video made by Claudia Valentine-Fjone in advance on our website here. Or you can join us on January 4, either in-house or virtually, and watch it together. Please see the website for more information.
Coffee & Conversations: A Faith and Social Justice Podcast will debut on Wednesday, January 5! This is being presented by our newly formed Social Justice Ministry, under the leadership of Amanda Hughes. There will be a new podcast every two months on an issue of injustice in the world. The topic for January-February is: Racism and Equity, with guest presenter Heather Fleming. You can find it on Apple Podcast and Spotify.
Our prayers go out to Lynne Johnson and family in the sudden passing of Lynne’s sister, who was living in Montana. Let’s wrap our love and prayers around the family.
May the love of Christ flood your hearts as we give God thanks for a brand new year!