It seems hard to believe that it is 2023 already. I can remember January of 2022 so well. I started the month by getting my hip replaced on the very last day that elective surgeries were allowed before an uptick in the Covid numbers prevented them. I don’t, of course, remember much about the surgery itself, although I did wake up briefly during it. I do, however, remember the pain and soreness afterwards, the physical therapy, my second hip replacement, and the unforgettable experience of detoxing from pain medications. The first 3 months of 2022 were really pretty miserable to be honest. Now I sit here some 9 months later and I feel mostly fine. My new metal hips are working quite well and, most importantly, I don’t have pain anymore.
What amazes me sometimes is how stuck we can become in a difficult situation. I can remember thinking about nothing else besides my discomfort as I went through my recovery. It can also seem at times as if whatever challenge we are facing will never go away, or that it is so great in nature that we will never recover from it. Certainly, tragedy and pain can last for long periods, but I have often been surprised in my own life how quickly things can get better, and how much time can heal and put things in perspective. Whether I am sad, anxious, angry, or lost, over time these negative feelings can and have changed for the positive. Perhaps that it one reason we celebrate the New Year. Even though it is just the change to the next day, it represents a new chapter or period of our life, when wanted change can happen.
Of course, as Christians we see change as ever present in the ministry of Christ. Not only do we have the symbolism of the light in the darkness, and life from death, but Jesus spoke for instance about seemingly disparate things in the sermon on the mount, suggesting, among other things, that those with sorrow will indeed rejoice. Jesus went amongst the poor and outcast and told them that such things would not define who they were as people and as children of God. Perhaps Jesus was given a divine perspective on the non-permanent nature of sorrow and pain, that we as humans simply lack. Whatever the case, as followers of Christ, our faith does teach us to look towards the future with hope, knowing that the present situation will not be forever. May we have that faith for 2023 and look with hope at what the days and months before us might bring.
Peace, Blessings, and Happy New Year
Watch Past Worship Services
Videos of each week's service are available – click here. Sermons from past years are available on The Pastor's Page™.
The new offering envelopes are here for 2023. They are in their usual location at the rear of the church by the flower chart. If you cannot come to pick up your envelopes, but want them, you can contact Pastor Brian at 937-469-1383 and he can arrange to get them to you.
2023 Annual Meeting - Rescheduled to January 29 - 12:15 PM
Our 2023 annual congregational meeting will be held on Sunday January 29 after the fellowship lunch, in the sanctuary at 12:15pm. We will reminisce about activities that occurred in 2022, vote on the budget for 2023, and vote on the slate of incoming consistory members. Your presence is needed, and your opinions matter. This is your chance to voice your concerns or to give praise for a job well done. The meeting will also be broadcast over Facebook Live so that those wishing to participate remotely will be able to do so.
Church Pizza & Game Night - January 27 - Canceled - watch for new date
The planning committee has decided that we would try and have a few more church wide social events in 2023. The first of these events will be a church pizza and game night in the fellowship hall on Friday January 27th. We will meet at the church at 6:00pm and the church will have pizza delivered. We are asking that people who come bring a favorite game with them, and we will gather in groups to enjoy the evening together. Please come and join us for this fun event. Also, please let Pastor Brian know if you think you might attend so we have an idea of how much pizza to order.
January book Study - January 18, 25, and February 1 - The Grace of Les Miserables - Book Study and Special Outing on January 29
Starting on Wednesday, January 18th and lasting for 3 weeks on Wednesdays, we will be reading the book The Grace of Les Miserables written by Matt Rawle. I have ordered several copies for the church and will have them available towards the end of December. We are also going to go on a church outing to see Les Miserables in connection with our book study on Sunday, January 29, 2023, at 6:30pm at the Schuster Center In Dayton. One is not required to be in the book study to be on the outing, it is for everyone. We will be trying to purchase as many tickets seated together as possible for this, and the price of the tickets will be between $50 and $100 depending on what we are able to get. We are asking for people to please let me, Pastor Brian, know if you are interested in attending the outing on January 26th, by December 24th. the church will purchase tickets and then members can pay the church for them. This should be a fun book study and outing. Transportation to the Schuster Center will depend upon how many will be attending the performance.