Friends & Partners,
This time of year is characterized by contrasting emotions.
At Advent we feel anticipation, expectation and hope. At Christmas we feel wonder, awe and joy. On New Year’s Eve we feel exhilaration, joy and celebration.
Then on January 2, we are jolted back into the humdrum of routine, daily life and a long winter with no end in sight.
In spite of the challenge of January for many folks, I’ve always liked New Year’s because it offers a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future.
This time of year, I like to look back over the previous year to celebrate accomplishments. In hindsight, I can usually see that I’ve accomplished more than I thought or even hoped to accomplish.
This time of year, I also like to look ahead. To make plans and set goals. The new year is a clean slate, full of promise and possibilities.
In Isaiah 43:19, God says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” The God who raised Jesus from the dead is in the “new thing” business. And while that includes far more than our individual lives, it certainly includes them, too.
Looking back, our fellowship has much to celebrate. Though the pandemic is still with us, we are establishing a new normal in our churches, our campus ministries and our partner organizations. We are learning new ways to adapt to a changing environment.
Looking forward, we are excited about the opportunities that await. As individuals, churches and as a fellowship, we know that God is still in the business of doing a “new thing” in our midst. Yes, some old things are passing away and we may still grieve over those losses. But resurrection comes after, and only after, death.
Above all, I’m grateful we will be able to experience a new year of possibilities together. We need each other. After all, we are Cooperative Baptists, not Independent Baptists.
Thank you for your partnership – past, present and future. With gratitude for 2022, I’m excited for the opportunity to journey on mission with you in 2023.
CBFNC Executive Coordinator