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I’m not someone who writes new year’s resolutions.  I never have been.  But, I am someone who likes to reflect on what I have learned in the past and use it to help me grow in the future.  

I have learned a lot this past year - especially this past 10 months as interim pastor at Holy Cross.  I have learned that Holy Cross has the most amazing staff of any church I have ever worked at.  I have learned that I have more administrative skills than I realized.  I have learned that the people of Holy Cross have an exceptional willingness to help others and that when I am one of the people in need of help, it is ok to ask for it.  I have learned that my husband can actually handle being the one managing the kids’ schedules better than I would have thought!  

I also learned lots of wonderful and helpful things while taking an on-line course this past fall through Luther Seminary taught by Michael R. Ward, the pastor who wrote the book “Abundance: Creating a Culture of Generosity.”  It was this class that led me to adopt the practice of posting our mission statement on the wall next to my desk.   Keeping our church mission statement - “United by Christ, we reflect God’s love through joyful service to all people” - in plain sight has helped to provide focus and meaning to my ministry.  This new year, I want to take that a step further as a means of growth for both myself and our congregation.  I would like to have our faith community “zoom in,” so to speak, on our mission statement.  Reflecting on these words, I want to more deeply ask the question of “Why do we, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, exist?  What exactly is our purpose?”  

Examining our mission and wrestling with this question, I hope to clarify our vision of who we are as a faith community and how we see the world being changed when we truly live out our mission together.  It is my hope that this will provide focus and meaning for all that we do together as a church and will help guide us in our future together.  

Holy Cross is a special faith community that is already having a big impact in the world.  I have learned so much working alongside all of you these past 10 months.  My hope for the new year is that by “zooming in” on our mission together, we can not only continue to do this good work, but that we can more fully live out our calling together to build up God’s Kingdom in the world.  

Thank you all so very much for being teachers and learners alongside me.  Thank you for your compassion and care when my family and I needed it.  Thank you for your continued dedication to being a place where ALL are welcome, where people are fed, and where, “united by Christ, we can - together - reflect God’s love through joyful service to all people.”  

Happy New Year!