And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. —Rainer Maria Rilke
It’s January, a time of fresh starts and possibilities. Also a time to plan, set intentions for the year ahead, and take stock of the year just ended.
Here at CPC, the finance team is busy finalizing the 2018 financials and putting the finishing touches on the 2019 budget. Meanwhile, Pastor Ellen and the other lay leaders and I are busy preparing for the upcoming annual meeting and thinking about the best ways to further our mission and strategic plan goals this year.
Based on what I have seen of the planning so far, we have a lot to look forward to in 2019: a concert to benefit refugees (happening next month! mark your calendars for February 23); a youth mission trip; spiritual retreats and gatherings; coffee hour conversations; “dinner and a movie” nights; etc.
We also have a lot to celebrate about the year just ended. I didn’t compile one of the popular “Best of 2018” lists, but I did put together a short list of some of the highlights of the year here at CPC: all the services and events celebrating our 100th anniversary; the dedication of the Lowell St. garden; our twenty new members (including nine confirmands); the refurbishment of our library; our first ever summer preaching fellow; and our second annual summer documentary film series.
Of course, there are many additional activities and events I could have included. All of this and more will be covered in the annual report that will be emailed to you later this month. I hope you will take a look at it and come to the annual meeting on January 27 to discuss the past year and talk about what is in store for 2019. I look forward to seeing you at the meeting if not before.
Happy New Year!
P.S. As mentioned above, we are organizing a concert to benefit refugees next month. One of the many insightful and interesting books I read last year was Mohsin Hamid’s novel, Exit West, which deals with the human side of the migration experience. It contains the line: “We are all migrants through time.” Something to think about as we begin this new year.
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 1/5—We need six volunteers to serve from 9 am-Noon at St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 4900 Connecticut Ave, NW. Contact Jennifer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lectio Divina: Holy Listening, 1/6—Join fellow seekers, 4–5:15 pm, for contemplative prayer in community, along with discussion, written reflection, and inspiration for starting or sustaining a regular prayer practice. This series will focus on the practice of listening for God—in sacred text, in silence, in the natural world, and in relationship with others. We will continue the series on the first Sunday of March and May.
Bible Study, 1/13—This group will meet after coffee hour to begin our study of the book of Exodus. All are welcome! For more information, contact Dit Talley at email@example.com.
Sing for Freedom, MLK Sunday, 1/20—We’ll honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in this music-filled worship service for all ages.
Poetry Hour, 1/20—Join us from 4–5 pm and bring one or two poems on any theme (with 8 copies to share). Friends welcome! Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinner & a Movie, 1/25— Pleasantville is a 1958 TV sitcom community where everything’s black and white, the weather is perfect, and sex … isn’t. Modern (well, 1998) teenagers David and Jennifer are transported to Pleasantville and begin to change the village and its people. We’ll watch Pleasantville and discuss perfection, change, and passion. Simple supper at 6:30 and movie at 7 pm. Please sign up by 1/23 so we know how much dinner to provide: Dan Sack at email@example.com.
Retreat: Mothers-Daughters-Sisters-Friends, 1/26—We all know amazing women family members and/or friends. And we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before… Join Pastor Ellen and Kris Davis from 10 am to 5 pm for a retreat celebrating Women and Spirit. Men are welcome! Ages 12 and up joyfully encourage to participate. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org