The End of One Year, the Beginning of Another

the beginning of a new year

a snow covered branch with sunlight shining through; Image courtesy of cocopariesienne via Pixabay.

This Sunday is the last Sunday in the Christian year. Traditionally it is “Christ the King” or “Reign of Christ” Sunday. It is a day to reflect on where we are in our faith journey as individuals and as a community. This year, it is also “Thanksgiving Sunday” and a day to give thanks.

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We have much to be grateful for at Living Table. We have survived difficult times. It will not come as news to anyone that pandemic has changed church life in many, many ways. Many congregations are trying to figure out how to “get people back” who stopped attending during the hard months of being only online. The reality is that the majority of those folx aren’t going to return if they have not already.

There are many reasons for this. No community is perfect. As we navigated the turbulence of recent years, we didn’t always meet everyone’s needs. Some people felt forgotten and some just didn’t like Zoom. Others just got out of the habit of attending worship. And for still others, life changes meant that they were no longer able to attend worship.

If we accept that folx are not likely to return, then we must also embrace the community we are even as we discern who we are becoming and what God is asking of us. What gifts do we have to offer? What can we be doing or sharing that others might need?

On the brink of Advent, let us be grateful for the year that is ending and the still-newness of who we are in this place. We are a people of hope, and we trust that God will guide us and shape us with wisdom and grace in the year to come.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and mental health ministry. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others.

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2 thoughts on “The End of One Year, the Beginning of Another”

  1. The prophetic voice of Pastor Rachael and the vulnerability of the LT community to consciously work to live Christ’s message of love are two things I’m grateful for this advent.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Sandy. I remain awed by LT community’s willingness to venture into the unknown in pursuit of serving God, neighbor, and Creation.

      Reply

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