Healthy and blessed New Year to you and your family!
As we begin the year 2022, I would like to invite you to recite this bible verse with me:
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds …" (Hebrews 10:23-24)
We are now entering the third year of a global pandemic. The stress and challenges of living with Covid-19 continue to wear on us individually and throughout our community. Perhaps some of us feel it’s hard to have the optimism that we shared at this time last year. How does our faith help us move forward and have hope in these times of great anxiety and uncertainty?
Hebrews 10:23-24 reminds us of the difference between optimism and Christian hope. Optimism is the naïve belief that everything is going to be alright. On the other hand, hope comes from our faith - holy confidence - in what we hope for, and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). As Christians with hope, we do not just wish for something good to happen. We want to be part of the kingdom of God who transforms people's lives. We spur one another towards love and good deeds to make a difference in the world.
To spread the message of hope, Centenary will continue to serve the ministry and mission of Christ. We will start the new year fresh with our new sermon series, "Reset," and rediscover our identity, new values, and life purpose during January. Our mission efforts will continue through our “Celebration of Found Cans” non-perishable food collection ministry (every Wednesday and Sunday 9-12 pm), and through our sandwich-making mission.
On January 9th, Centenary's confirmation candidates will embark on their journey through a joint confirmation class with New Dover UMC and Trinity UMC. I would like to ask for your prayers and support for our candidates throughout their journey.
I pray that this word of encouragement from Hebrews will lead our hearts and be at the forefront of our minds during year 2022. Let us continue to trust God and be part of God's ministry work that touches people's lives. May God bless us with creativity, courage, and resilience as we move with hope into the future.
Your Pastor, Sooah