Many people make resolutions for the New Year, in preparation for what’s to come.  But how often do we take the time to review the previous year in order to see how far we’ve come?  It’s good to look back over our past to see what we have accomplished and examine how we can build in the future.

When the temperature gets cooler and the leaves begin to change color, I start thinking back to the early days of each year.  At the beginning of 2012, I was so appreciative of my new calling at First Presbyterian.  My hiring happened during a period in my life when I knew that I could only rely on God.  I felt that the church welcomed me so gladly, and we shared a common feeling of reliance on God for our future.  We both thanked God for His guidance in leading us to get together at a critical time in the church’s history. 

During this year, we have welcomed a new pastor Amy Wiles.  The staff along with all church families has moved in a positive way.  Sometimes things looked too overwhelming, but many of those situations have been resolved.  God’s grace and amazing direction has overcome some obstacles that felt impossible. 

In reviewing our music ministry, we can see countless ways that God has moved.  The musical ensembles have been growing so much that we find ourselves with happy problems.  Recently, we ran out of choir seats and handbell tables because of increasing members in each group.  Additionally, musical offerings in Sunday worship and public concerts such as the Eastertide concert in May have been well received and successful.  The plan for the Messiah Concert this December with our neighbor church, First Congregational, has been an exciting endeavor, and we look forward to the joint worship and concert on Sunday, December 9. 

I have learned through my life that God’s blessings and answers to prayers come with responsibilities and chances to grow so that we might fulfill His purpose in us.  I pray that during this time at our church, we will continue to enjoy God’s blessings with our church family and with the people around us.