As we enter into the first month of the year, we begin again in many ways. We begin again by turning another page on the calendar and starting another year together. We begin again as we continue to celebrate the season of Christmas and as we recognize the light of Epiphany, remembering when the Magi arrived with gifts for Jesus. We begin again in worship on the first Sunday of the year by gathering around the table of communion, beginning again with grace.[pullquote_right width=”60%”]Poised at the beginning of a new year, all of us can give thanks for this place of worship and ministry, renewing our commitments to the congregation and bolstering the community within our walls as well as listening for new opportunities to reach out to the community around us.[/pullquote_right]
We begin again as well on the first Sunday of the year by gathering as committees. On January 5, all of the committees in the church will meet to garner energy and to look at the work of the coming year. We are grateful for the ministry of the committees of the church, as they offer leadership and foster strength in the congregation. The lay leadership of the congregation is the heart of its ministry. On the first Sunday of the year, they will begin again, envisioning ways to reach out and to serve the community around us, meeting the needs within the congregation, and continuing our efforts to embody the grace of God.
One such committee that will begin its work in this new year is an ad hoc committee for staff development, working through the Personnel Committee. At the end of 2013, the Personnel Committee recommended appointing an ad hoc committee to study and consider the need for a new ministerial staff position, and the recommendation was approved by both the deacons and the congregation at its business meeting in December. This ad hoc committee will determine whether there is a need for an additional minister on staff, review overall staff needs, and upon recognizing a need, it will develop a job description and title for any recommended position.
We remember the good work of this committee, as it makes recommendations to the Personnel Committee. All of the recommendations made by this committee will also be reviewed by the deacons and the congregation in the upcoming months. The committee is not a search committee, only an ad hoc committee reviewing staff development. We pray for their discernment, as they consider the needs of the congregation.
Poised at the beginning of a new year, all of us can give thanks for this place of worship and ministry, renewing our commitments to the congregation and bolstering the community within our walls as well as listening for new opportunities to reach out to the community around us. Through the light of Epiphany and surrounded by the grace of God, we continue to deepen our solidarity to one another and to open ourselves up to the Spirit of Christ. The days ahead are full of new beginnings.