If I had to choose one word for this new year, it would be Hope.
Hope for people who are facing and walking in trials or darkness.
Hope for our country as we try to find a way forward together.
Hope for the church as it seeks to be a channel of peace, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Hope for St. Philip in the Field as we seek to follow Jesus in word and deed in all that we do.
Hope, in short, that we see that the Light shines in the darkness; and the Darkness does not, cannot, and never will overcome it.
My hope for St. Philips is that we grow in love and lovingkindness; that we continue to serve our community and neighbors here and around the world with God’s own tender loving care. I hope that we will grow in our ability to see Christ in one another and to seek to serve him in each and every person we meet.
I hope that this year brings each of us more joy in knowing that we truly are God’s Beloved, with whom God is well pleased – and that we know and feel that in the depths of our being.
I hope that we honor and give thanks that we have made great strides in our life together in Christ – we have given of our time talent and treasure to serve our neighbors and our church family; we have welcomed many to join as we serve. We have served food and drink to the hungry, given clothes and shelter to the homeless, gone to those in prison, visited the sick, comforted the sorrowful, and come together to pray, sing, praise, and lament. In addition to direct giving through donations to the Discretionary Fund we have supported families in our congregation and our community including the Crisis Center, Elbert/Douglas Task Force, Bridge of Hope; in our region we have supported St. Francis Center, Kairos Prison Ministry, and books for schools; in the world we have helped ministry in the Dioceses of Jerusalem, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Haiti. Please read the reports in the Annual Report booklet to get a sense of all that we have done together this year – it is very good, God-Blessed work!
…In all of our service and gatherings, we have been given signs of hope for our journey.
Let these signs of hope strengthen us in this new year, and be lights on our journey of loving and serving the Lord. And let us never forget that in all that we are given to do, God is With Us. Take heart!
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Thank you, and Blessings, Beloved!