As the calendar turns to January, there is a natural sense of gazing ahead that arises. What will the New Year bring? For some it may be a hopeful question, and for others it may be an anxious one. I was struck recently by an entry in the devotional I used this Advent (a thoughtful collection from Luther Seminary, written by Lois Malcolm and Kyle Svennungsen) about this hinge time of looking back and looking forward.

Advent creates a kind of time warp for us.
God’s promises from the past
become a future that redefines our present.
This time warp- living by faith
in a promised future that has not yet come-
shifts our vision of things.

How do we, as a congregation, live into a future defined and shaped by God’s promises from the past? How do they continue to be a living witness that guides and directs our planning for the future as well as our living in the now? How do the Scriptures shift our vision of things?
As I gaze ahead into 2019, I see here at Peace a challenging mixture of both hope and anxiety. It feels like we are at a hinge point in our history, and we have work to do together to intentionally shape our future. We will take up this task as a spiritual one? As a call to communal discernment of how God’s desired future is calling us to shape our present?
Your Church Council will be taking up the work of creating opportunities for the congregation to thoughtfully and prayerfully address the questions and issues that were identified at our November congregational meeting. I hope that when you receive an invitation to participate in future conversations, you will make the time and effort to do so. May we journey forward as a community of faith, open to a future shaped by God’s promises.

A blessed New Year! Pastor Annette