I would first like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.  I know there have been challenges over the past twelve months.  However, challenges that are addressed often build stronger groups.  I believe that is the result we have seen.  Since being called, I have witness a stronger congregation that is eager to be closer to our Lord and each other.  To see a congregation fellowship with one another both before and after worship on Sunday morning is a blessing to any church.

This coming year I believe we will see more challenges.  Challenges for good.  The deacons and myself will be discussing over the coming weeks ways more people may become involved in church activities, how we can become more involved in the community, and of course, how we can worship the Lord our God through Jesus Christ in a way we will come out of worship knowing our worship is true.

Often to obtain this, we must maintain a disciplined study.  With this in mind, I would like to submit to you a personal challenge.  A friend to his congregation has made this challenge.  I believe this would be good also for all of us.

Commit to read a different book of the Bible every month. Since there are 12 months in the year, you will be committing to read 12 books of the Bible. For those of you who have read through several gospels already, this might be a good “second step” in your spiritual growth. Perhaps you have heard that the book of Job provides a deep evaluation of human suffering. You could choose Job as one of your 12 books. Or you have always wanted to read Romans, Pauls’ most profound letter and perhaps the most influential single book in the Bible. Another advantage of this pledge is that if you find yourself in the middle of a very busy month, you can always read a very short book like Ruth (only four chapters) or even Philemon (only a single chapter). This pledge gives you lots of options.

Another option is to read the entire New Testament in a year. This will require significant self-discipline—reading one chapter per day—to complete your pledge by the end of 2023. And the final option is a major commitment—to read four chapters of the Bible per day so that you can read the entire Bible in one year.

Whatever option you choose, I am certain your spiritual life will be increase and you will be more in tune with the Lord in ways you could never could have imagined.  And let us all make the very most of 2023!

In Christ,

Pastor John