Forward, Together in Faith!

Dear People of Grace,

Welcome to another wonderful year together, living in God’s love!

It is good to give thanks for the year that is past. We grew as a congregation, we worshipped, we prayed, we wrestled, we argued (in holy ways!) and we loved.

We had some sadness together, like losing our Minister of Music, and some great joys, like the opening of Montrose Grace Place. We will observe and celebrate these things at our Annual Meeting, Part 2, on January 30th, after church.

Of course we look forward to our next year together. I hope that it will be another year of growth in faith. I trust this means welcoming more people who didn’t know they could have a church home, calling new people into leadership, celebrating the gifts we see in each other, and growing our relationships deeper.

I hope we tell news that is good and life-giving to those who need to hear it, and that we work in the world in ways that bring healing and wholeness.

It will be our job as a community together to find out exactly how those words take flesh in our life.

I’m guessing some of the work will be very similar to what we’ve done last year- events like Pride Parade to get the word out, Bible Study and Christian Ed to deepen our faith, advocating against human trafficking, training new worship leaders and sharing our faith over coffee on Sunday mornings, baking bread for visitors and challenging new members to help with projects.

Some of it might be different too- a greatly expanded Pet Blessing to meet even more neighbors, new depths of prayer in our new meditation time, holy conversations in February with Dialogue Racism, and who knows what else!

I hope you know that your visions for how our congregation can live out our calling are not only welcome, but desired and sought after.

We have differences sometimes what our faith calls us too. You as a congregation are so good at hearing each other, talking it out, loving each other through your differences! Of course we’ll have many more chances to practice and get even better.

I ask your forgiveness for the times I’ve been to anxious for my own projects, too certain of my own point of view.

We are the body of Christ in the world, not individually, but as a whole. We need each other for inspiration, correction, and support.

But even more, we need God’s guidance, acceptance and forgiveness! While we hope, dream, and plan together, we may be surprised at many things. We may even be wrong about some. But what we can be certain of is God’s love for us. That love is unfailing, never-ending, all-embracing, and more powerful than anything we’ve ever known. So forward, together, in faith, to whatever the year brings! We’ll do it together, wrapped in God’s love.

Pastor Lura

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