For many of us, January is a time for reflection on the events and experiences of the last year, and time for reflection on the events and experiences that might lie ahead.
For the churchwide expression of Women of the ELCA, the last year included our All Anew Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis. Were you there? Do you know someone else who was? What was the most exciting part of the event for you?
For me, it was how people took hold of the whole All Anew theme. It seemed to really resonate with people, calling forth an amazing outpouring of prayer, service and giving, there at the gathering and even afterward. And it’s still going on! Could it be that the Holy Spirit is at work among us? I certainly think so!
The Holy Spirit in our lives
We can never predict what the Holy Spirit will do in our lives or in the life of our beloved community of women created in the image of God–all we know is that the Spirit’s actions will be beyond our imagination. But we can name what we hope the Spirit will bring about in the next year!
I hope the Holy Spirit will bring each of us and all of us healing for all our ills and comfort for all our sorrows.
And I hope the Holy Spirit will bring each of us and all of us the good fruits described in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (5:22).
And I hope–well, actually, I know–that the Holy Spirit will continue making us All Anew, inspiring and inviting and exciting us into a new year of living together as a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Amen and amen!
Audrey Novak Riley is director for stewardship and development for Women of the ELCA. The quilt in this photo was created by Jennifer Schaudt, League City, Texas, for the Tenth Triennial Gathering quilt challenge.
The calendar year ends on December 31, but the fiscal year for Women of the ELCA doesn’t end until January 31. This means we have a little extra time to send in our Regular Offerings, Thankofferings, and “Where Needed Most” offerings!
Please mail your offerings to:
Women of the ELCA
c/o ELCA Gift Processing Center
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield VA 22116-8009