Welcome to a new year and a new decade!

My mother has this interesting belief that whatever you do on the first day of the new year you will do all year long.  Thinking about this and all that began the first day of 2020 in the United Methodist Church, I invited many of the marginalized and vulnerable clergy and lay people in the area to my house on New Year’s Day to have a safe place to be silent or to play games, to sit in front of the fire or to do whatever they needed to do for themselves as the year began.

Along with my sister Effie, who is an exceptional cook, we fed people collard greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread, and macaroni and cheese (affectionately known as heart attack in a pan).  People came and went at their own pace.  During the day laughter, stories and concerns were shared.  We talked about our hopes and fears, our full lives and our desires for who we could become in this next decade.  It was a soul nourishing day.

As I listened and watched, I found myself more deeply desiring to simplify my life and my expectations.  When I said this to Matt, he gently and lovingly patted me on the shoulder silently reminding me that simple has never been my way in the world.  More true to my nature was gift of the day — a day of invitation, connection, hospitality and love.

In this new moment, I pray that our days will be more fully living into who we are with our own unique gifts and talents.  As we discern who God is calling the Crawford community to be and become, I pray that we will move into this new time with confidence and faith, forgiveness and a whole lot of grace.

Happy New Year and new decade,