Greetings to all!
As we prepare to open the calendar for a new year, consider the
following reflection by Henri Nouwen.
A new beginning! We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes,
each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make
everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment pregnant with
new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of
promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always
listening to a voice saying to us: "I have a gift for you and can't
wait for you to see it!" Imagine.
Is it possible that our imagination can lead us to the truth of our
lives? Yes, it can! The problem is that we allow our past, which
becomes longer and longer each year, to say to us: "You know it all;
you have seen it all, be realistic; the future will be just another
repeat of the past. Try to survive as best you can." There are many
cunning foxes jumping on our shoulders and whispering in our ears the
great lie: "There is nothing new under the sun...don't let yourself
be fooled." When we listen to these foxes, they eventually prove
themselves right: our new year, our new day, our new hour become flat,
boring, dull, and without anything new.
So what are we to do? First, we must send the foxes back to where
they belong: in their foxholes. And then we must open our minds and
our hearts to the voice that resounds through the valleys and hills of
our life saying: "Let me show you where I live among my people. My
name is 'God-with-you.' I will wipe away all the tears from your eyes;
there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The
world of the past has gone." (Revelation 21:2-5) When we choose to
listen to that voice, every choice will open us a little more to
discover the new life hidden in the moment, waiting eagerly to be born.
(from "Here and Now')
The Scripture lessons for Sunday, January 3, observing the Epiphany of
(The sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated this Sunday,
MEN'S COFFEE - Walnut Hill men are invited to gather for coffee on
Saturday, January 2, 8am, at Paneras on Richmond Road. Feel free to
stop in for as long or short a time as your schedule allows. No rsvp
SUNDAY CONVERSATIONS resume this Sunday, 10am, in Trinity Hall. We
will talk together about the year ahead, including your suggestions
for our "Sunday Conversation" topics. Feel free to enjoy a cup of
coffee, join the conversation, or just listen in.
ACE TRIP - Walnut Hill Church is sponsoring 15 students to
participate in the Athens Chilesburg Elementary School Fifth Grade
Class Trip to Washington, DC. These are students who otherwise do not
have the financial resources to participate. The trip costs
approximately $550/child. Your gift in any amount is welcome. Make
your check payable to Walnut Hill Church, designated "ACE Trip."
HOPE CENTER ITEMS - If you are just back from some holiday travel and
have collected some travel/trial size toiletry items, remember that we
are collecting unused travel/trial size toiletry items to be
distributed among clients of the Hope Center. Place your items in the
"Hope Center" box in the Sanctuary foyer.
CHRISTMAS FOLLOW-UP - Once again Walnut Hill "kept Christmas well"
including...our holiday potluck and party; presentations by the
children and youth; sanctuary decorations; Christmas Eve gatherings; a
carload of gifts for the "Giving Tree" family; gifts for our Iraqi
neighbors; more than $600 for the "Innkeeper's Offering" to shelter
homeless women, children, and families; holiday greetings shared all
around. Thanks to all those who helped make Christmas a special
season at Walnut Hill.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!