I spent my first White Christmas since 1989, with my husband in a fairly isolated mountain cabin. There is something really special about everything being covered with snow. The fresh fluff covers the browning grass and makes everything look soft and new. The snow serves as insulation almost, keeping external noise to a minimum. The sounds of the world seem oddly silenced and the sounds of the earth fill the air instead.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could turn the page on 2020 and have all the difficult and painful parts of the past year covered with something beautiful like freshly fallen snow? What if we could simply turn the page as if opening a new book and have the hurt and struggles of the year of COVID-19 , silenced and just be on to better days? Imagine if we could be insulated from the negativity and nastiness in our world today!
Truthfully, I wouldn’t want that entirely. I definitely felt the presence of the Lord there surrounded by his glory in the snow-covered mountains of Western NC. Everything draining seemed worlds away. Yet, I learned so much in 2020. I have learned how to work smarter because I didn’t have a choice. I learned how to make myself rest and take care of myself, because again… I wasn’t given a choice. I have learned how to look at people through different lenses and how to look at problems that have existed for years, in new ways. I have learned how to slow down and be more patient with myself and with others. I don’t want to turn the page on any of that either.
If we are honest, we all have learned so much!! We’ve learned how to work together in order to take care of each other. We’ve learned how to use our creative sides. We’ve learned how to utilize our detail-oriented souls along with our out-of-the-box thinkers to create new kinds of worship and learning opportunities. We’ve learned how to serve as the hands and feet of Christ in new ways. We’ve been forced to learn how to reach people, where they are and haven’t we been struggling to do that for centuries?! We don’t want to forget any of that when we turn the page on 2020. We want to remember it all and take it forward into the New Year.
For the Laity of the Sound, there are so many opportunities for us to grow closer to Christ in the New Year. There are opportunities to be pushed out of our comfort zones, but that’s okay!! We can grow together. The new year brings a renewed desire to grow as Disciples, to fill that yearning in our hearts, to encourage each other in our growth, and to experience that feeling of the world becoming a little less noisy as we begin to hear our Heavenly Father in new ways.
Listed below is just a sampling of the opportunities for you… ALL of you! I encourage you brave souls who step up first to participate, to reach back and invite another member of your church or a friend to join you. There are people in every pew, waiting for someone to encourage them in their walk toward a life with Christ. Let’s be encouragers in 2021. I give thanks for the encouragers in my life!
- Join the clergy and many others across the Sound District in using The Upper Room Disciplines 2021 each day beginning January 1, 2021. This is not the same as the little devotional available in most of our churches. Each week on the Sound District Facebook page, you can find a person from across the District introducing the week ahead. Grab your copy and join along!
- While you are book shopping, pick up Surprise the World by Michael Frost. Then join both clergy and laity from the District in a book study via Zoom, during the month of January! Watch for the meeting link coming soon, but mark the dates down now! Jan 5th, Jan. 11th, Jan. 19th, and Jan. 25th with two times available to join of 10am and 7pm each day!
- Register for the conference wide training for church leaders happening January 10th, using this link https://nccumc.org/leadership/training
- Register for the Lay Ministry Basics course for the Sound District using this link February 20, 2021 Virtual Basic Course Offered – Sound District – NCCUMC
- AND MORE! Be sure you are following the Sound District Facebook Page!
If you would like to view past editions of A Message from Kim, follow this link: https://sounddistrictnc.org/category/from-district-lay-leader/
If you would like to connect with Kim please do so through her email, firstname.lastname@example.org