As we head into this new year, our work remains the same: to love God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves. It is important work and more necessary than ever.

What we witnessed in our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday was despicable. While we could not have likely predicted anything like that happening, it should not have come as a complete surprise. As much as anything, it was an attack on truth, fabricated on lies.

The many challenges of the past year with a global pandemic brought to fore racial, social, and economic disparities, not to mention political divisions on more fronts than I can name. None of this was new. It simply could no longer be denied or brushed aside.

Our democracy is still evolving. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” remains a work in progress.

Each of us has our work to do and every positive step makes a difference. We must recognize the power and impact of our words and actions. We must refuse a double standard—period. We must not turn a blind eye to the truth of inequities and injustice. We must not allow hatred, bigotry, violence, and corruption to be the order of the day. We must not breathe a sigh of relief when such things happen to others, thinking that it is not our problem because it is.

This is a new year and I remain hopeful. I am excited about it and welcome the opportunity to start fresh, turn the page, and begin again with you my beloved church family and friends near and far. Sometimes we learn as we go, but we must be willing to learn and unafraid to go even into the darkest places.

Do you hear this year calling to you? I know I do. And while I cannot articulate in the moment exactly what it means or what I am to do other than what I have been doing, I am ready to be more fully awakened than ever before.

What I know for sure is that PAUMC is a wonderful and resilient community and God’s unconditional love for all humankind does not change. This is our work and blessed hope.

You are my pride and joy. Old things are passing; behold, all things are being made new. Thanks be to God!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy