I am about to do a new thing: now it springs forth...

do you not perceive it?  (Isaiah 43: 19)

New, fresh, recent, novel untouched.  Newborn, new beginnings, new creation, new covenant, new and imporved.  For the most part, we associate "new" with something better, greater possibilities, excitement, mystery, anticipation, energy, opportunities.  I am amazed and comforted that God always leaves room for something "new."  God always gives God's people a chance to move forward and/or, if necessary, to put the past behind and begin again.

God has greatly blessed Calvary UMC this past year.  We paid off our line of credit and increased the percentage of apportionments we paid over 2012.  The women participated in 2 inspirational retreats, while the men hosted the Potato Drop, the Upper Room Prayer Line, and built a ramp.  We delivered tons of fresh produce, as well as non-perishable items, to local food pantries.  VBS, the Spaghetti Dinner, Soup & Pie Sunday, and the Cookie Walk were times of challenge, but also ways of introducing CUMC to folks in our community.  Babies were born, folks were baptized, members were added.  The wonderful cantata added to the inspiration of the Advent/Christmas season.  Let the celebrations occur!  BUT, remember - God does not want us to rest on our laurels.  There is more to be done.

So, to welcome the "new" year here at CUMC, we will have "new" members, a "new" budget, "new" leadership, a "new" look to our coffee room.  We will have the opportunity to re"new" our spirits through re"new"ing our vows to God, accepting power for our "new" life in Christ through Holy Communion, and re"new"ing friendships through potlucks, projects, studies, and other fellowship activities.  We hope to have a mix of praise music, gospel, and other types of music on the third Sunday.  We plan to create a "new" pictorial directory which will aid us in recognizing those "new" (and not so "new") faces.  We hope to put our "new" ramp to good use as we welcome in those who have been challeneged by the stairs into the building.  And, we will make room for the "new" by getting rid of some of the old - cleaning out cabinets, closets, and other spaces.

I look forward to all of the "new" things God will be doing here this year.  It should be pretty exciting. 

Happy "New" year!