[Note: I am a late-ish bloomer so what I discovered recently you might have discovered years ago. Feel free to share your own discoveries in the comments if you wish.]
These are not in any particular order. But all of these things have changed my life for good in the past year:
- Standing for Co-Moderator of the PCUSA General Assembly is the way to go. The 222nd General Assembly was the first time that Co-Moderators (rather an a Moderator and Vice-Moderator) could be elected . . . and we were elected. The pluses include having an officially equal partner in this ministry and being able to model a healthy way to divide the travel responsibilities. Denise and I are committed to being away from our respective homes and jobs no more than 10 days a month (each.) Usually it’s been more like 5-7 days away per month (each.) This is doable We hope to model that you don’t have to be retired or away from your regular job terribly much to serve as Co-Moderator.
- Colson Whitehead is an extraordinary writer. The Underground Railroad was my favorite novel in 2016.
- Chance the Rapper is the real thing. Blessings keep falling in my lap.
- Sally Kohn speaks the truth. I’m not really a fan of the term “correctness” whether we are talking Political Correctness or Emotional Correctness, but we have got to learn what she calls Emotional Correctness if we are going to be a civilized nation.
- Hydration Serum with Peptides by Lucrece makes me feel better. I turned 60 in 2016. Although I’m a big fan of wrinkles because it means your face is doing what it’s supposed to do (smile, frown, think hard) I also want to look kind of fresh faced . . . for a 60 year old.
- Being 60 years old is underrated. This is worth a whole blog post but you’ll just have to trust me on this one.
- These are great days to be the Church. Maybe the best of days because God does God’s best work when the world is a hot mess. And the world is a hot mess. As church participation continues to dwindle in most parts of the United States, congregations who have lost their reason to exist (clue: Jesus didn’t die for church buildings) will continue to close and congregations that make an impact to care for the poor, the hungry, and the broken will continue to grow. [Note: “best of days” means it’s good for God but probably stressful for God’s people. 500 years ago was no picnic for Christian Reformation leaders either. Luther was excommunicated less than 4 years after hammering those 95 theses into the church door.]
- Hamilton was ubiquitous in 2016 among the privileged, but it continues to be the finest piece of art created in a long time. Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.
We have holy work to do in 2017. The nation is divided. The incoming administration does not seem to plan to prioritize the poor. Fake news and vulgar behavior have become the norm.
This time next year, I hope we can look back and say that there was justice for those who have experienced injustice. I hope we can look back and recall scientific breakthroughs, great art, feats of heroism, and another World Series win for the Cubs. Okay – I’d be happy without another World Series for the Cubs, but it would be nice.
Happy New Year everyone. May God bless each of us with strength.