Ah, January – the month that finds itself in a peculiar position. Chosen to be the first month of a new year, often front-loaded with the weight of new goals, yet coming right after what can be the busiest and most tiring month for many. January wears a gold crown and is ushered in with fireworks, but it has no inherent power. It only promises us a new number.
In this part of the world, this is a cold, dark month. Yes, the light is returning, but it has only just begun. Having made it to the other side of the winter solstice, January may indeed feel like a new beginning for some. But, if you feel more like you’re in the middle of something than at the beginning, you’re in good company. Know that you are surrounded by nature and creatures for whom this is a time of slowing down, pausing or freezing in place.
Beloveds, 2022 has arrived, yet it is not what is new. We are the creators and the curators of our lives. We are renewed when we live with intention. We are renewed when we are engaged in intentional communities like the ones created in our congregation, among others. We create renewal by attending to our souls.
Imagine two circles. One is Intention and the other Faith. Intention is about choices. Not just making decisions, but making choices with regard for self and others.
Faith is about trust. Learning how to trust, practicing trust and having a circle of those you trust in order to find your truth.
Now imagine the Circle of Intention and the Circle of Faith overlap, creating a new space. This is a sacred space – the place where we discover new ideas, examine long-held beliefs, live into our values, make room to be changed, and learn from each other. This is the place where we practice our religion.
It is from this space we live with intention and continue to develop our faith. It is from this space we are renewed throughout the year. Happy renewal year to everyone!
Emily C. Jones, Director of Religious Education