It’s a new year and time for new resolutions. I would like to wish everyone a brilliant and blissful New Year! 
It is time once again, to check and revise plans made in the Fall. That is when we realize how challenging it is to predict the future! No doubt, one should always have a back-up plan waiting in the wings. In the coming year, we pray to have and use such back-up plans.
Another and still larger challenge to fulfilling one’s own plans is fulfilling the plans God has set forth before his congregation and individual believers. God is a master of surprises. No matter how we pray for guidance and understanding, we cannot figure out what his will is for us. As we know, when God works, he often works in mysterious ways and His plan is a surprise. God does share his glory with anyone. 
Nonetheless, God does want us to plan as a congregation. He wants us to complete what we should and prepare events. He merely will be sure to have the last word in making things happen. When it comes to working with God, it can sometimes feel like arm twisting- even though we are certain of the God winning every argument, it can still feel like unnecessary arm twisting to get us to join his plan. This was revealed to Jacob long ago when he decided to begin wrestling.
Our congregation’s largest concern and prayer is to hire an organist. At this time, our disconcerting situation has yet to be resolved.
Usually, I am terrible at making any sort of New Year’s resolutions, but for this year, I have already publicly announced that I will read the Bible more than last year. Instead of some sort of numerical promise, I challenge all of you to also add reading the Bible to your list of promises for the new year. 
Our congregation implemented many changes and fulfilled many different kinds of plans in 2022. Heartfelt thanks to all volunteers for carrying out these plans and thanks to participants for coming together at all our events.
It is a great joy and honor to be your shepherd.