I sit here on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 and reflect back and look forward. It is a good thing to reflect back upon the things that have happened but you don't want to get "stuck" in the past. If you do then you won't continue to grow and become the person that the Lord intends you to become.
It was on Jan. 4th last year that I had hernia surgery. It was the last of 3 major health issues and I was so thankful to have it behind me (though on this Friday that I was feeling pretty crummy). After having the gall bladder removed and a heart cath with a blockage in 2011, health issues was capped with that surgery. And I thank the Lord that the rest of 2012 was good for me in the health department. I rejoice at the wonder of healing that the Lord has given to us. How it is possible that we can do such invasive procedures on the body and recover? It sure wasn't evolution that made that possible. It was the amazing healing properties that the Lord gave to our bodies when He created us that makes this possible. Thanks be to God for them!
As I look into 2013, I do so with much excitement. I believe that St. Paul's Church and School will both continue to see growth. We had such a great year in 2012, blessed by the hand of the Lord and guided by the Holy Spirit. We have spent time working on a new direction for the church and school and in 2013, we will begin to implement a plan to reach those new goals. Continued growth in the school along with retention of the students that we already have is a priority. Reaching out into the community with the message of the Gospel and bringing new families into the congregation is also a high priority. We will make plans to begin more Bible study opportunities as well as fellowship groups.
All that is possible only through the work of the Spirit in our midst. We can make all the plans we want but if He doesn't guide us, they will come to nothing. And we need to work together as members of this congregation. It will take a lot of effort from each member and a support from each one. These goals will challenge us and stretch us. We will be tempted to look back and say, "But we didn't do it that way 5 years ago or 10 years ago and did just fine." We can't look back and try to do things the way we always have. Why? Because we don't live 5 or 10 years ago. We live in 2013. Our community has changed. Our church membership has changed. The message is the same. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is the same. But how we get that message out and how we reach people with the message of life and hope has to change. We are working on that. Yes, it will be a challenge. But the souls of people are worth the challenge that we go through to reach them.
I will be posting our new goals soon. I hope you will take time to look them over and figure out how you can be a part of the growth of St. Paul's Church and School. Then volunteer to help out. Offer your services, your talents and your abilities to help move our congregation forward.
Yes, it is going to be an exciting year!