We stand at the beginning of another calendar year, as we continue to emerge from the conditions of a pandemic, finding ways to build and serve community. We have gained new knowledge about ourselves and fresh awareness of our deep connection to one another. We enter this year mindful of such things!

I continue to be thankful for the commitment of the congregation. Its gifts, compassion, and dedication are remarkable. We have experienced the impact of a pandemic on all aspects of our lives, but our convictions remain the same.

We love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, as we allow for questions, embrace mystery, and find assurance that God is always with us. We love our neighbor with compassion and grace, welcoming everyone who enters our lives and remembering to see Christ within them. We begin each year, and each week on the Lord’s Day, with those convictions!

We find strength for those convictions in the shared journey. During the pandemic, we have been both afraid of and thankful for the shared journey. We have taken great effort not to share the virus with one another, but we made this commitment because of the shared values of community and compassion.

As a family of faith, we share the sacred aspects of life. We share the love of God and the love of neighbor, making a commitment to our shared calling. We share the sacred gifts of showing up for one another, serving the needs of others, and celebrating the gifts of each other. We share laughter and grief. We share hope and lament. We share our stories, families, and experiences.

We share the journey of faith! We are thankful for the commitment of the congregation, as it continues to shape and form our lives, even in the midst of a pandemic. We can begin this calendar year with sharing our gratitude for one another. We might give thanks for the shared journey by choosing one aspect of it and writing it down, sharing it with our family, or mentioning it in our prayers.


Auburn First Baptist Church