Only one more day until 2012 draws to a close. It has been an amazing year. One thing that is amazing is how fast this year has gone. It seems like only a short time ago we were saying goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. I have been told by those who are older than I am that as you grow older the years go faster. I reached 51 years of age this year and it appears that those ones who have said that to me were correct. The year is going much faster than I could have ever imagined. (Is that because I am so busy? Is it because I am older? Is it a matter of perspective? I can't answer that question.)
This year has also been amazing for the church life. There have been a few naysayers who have stated that St. Paul's hasn't been growing. I would counter with the facts. Average worship attendance has been on a steady increase over the past 4 years. Point of fact is that it has increased to the point where we are nearing an average of 250 per weekend. Yes, we have released a large number of members over the year but that hasn't affected our attendance. Many of those we have released are ones who haven't been active in worship life for many years. At the same time, we have continued to bring in new members, both adults and children. It is exciting to be a part of the work of the Lord in reaching out into the Troy community.
Then there was the celebration in June of the 25th anniversary of my ordination into the pastoral ministry. That was a great weekend. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to celebrate with my brothers and sisters of St. Paul's. The members put together a wonderful day - the morning worship with Rev. Dr. John Oberdeck preaching, the afternoon spent with family, the dinner and program in the evening. The gifts that were given to me, one of those gifts being the special quilt that had quilt blocks signed by a large number of the members. That quilt now hangs in our basement here in the parsonage. It truly is a thing of beauty. I had a great day.
Things at St. Paul's school have been going very well. This is the 1st year that we have made the concerted effort to connect the preschool with the day school. In the past years the two had been in the same building but had really been separate. We can be thankful that they have joined together into one school instead of two. Too many families came to preschool without being aware of the day school, which meant that we missed the opportunity to bring more children into kindergarten. And we see the outcome of this change with 20 children coming into our kindergarten this year. That was a tremendous growth for St. Paul's school. The preschool classes continue to be a strong asset to our school with nearly 40 in the preschool 4's and 25 the 1st half of the year in the preschool 3's with another class beginning here with the new year beginning. All we can say is, "Thank You Lord, for blessing our school in such a wonderful way."
And I bring to the end my thoughts on this day, December 30, 2012. I have other things to ramble about but for the moment, this is the end of my ramblings.