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Reflections on 2010

2010 – a year of change.

Started the year having to terminate a church employee.   One of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life yet I learned that I have the inner strength to do hard things.

In late June, I resigned the positions I held at our local church.  The church attendance was below 20.  In the fall, attendance went below 15.  By November, the church had voted to close its doors with fewer than 10 in attendance.  The last church service was December 25th.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend as I had already moved to Minnesota.

The closure of a church is a great loss both to its members and to the community.  Churches want to grow but somehow this church had “grayed” and did not have the energy and/or the time to spend in that endeavor.

Two weeks ago, I attended a church in Minnesota.  When I entered, I was surprised to see 6-7 people studying the Bible.  But the situation appeared similar to the one I had left.  Another “graying” church.  No young people.  I was probably the youngest.

Is it that as churches we get set in our ways and aren’t flexible enough to bend with the culture around us?  Too stiff to reach out because we’re stuck in our knowledge and can’t understand how to reach “differented” people?

I don’t know what God has in store for me yet in our new home state of Minnesota.  I know I have gifts He has given me to share with others and I’m praying He will show me where it’s best for me to use them.

In June, my nephew passed away.  This was the first death in our family since my grandmother died over 20 years ago.  We still don’t know why he died.  He was young and talented and this world has a big loss because he is no longer here.  Later in the year, another nephew and an uncle passed away.  It was a tough year for our family with all these losses.

Our move to Minnesota was another huge change.  We started by looking outside the state of Washington for a job closer to family and found one in Minnesota — land of over 10,000 lakes.  We had approximately one month from when we accepted the job to the actual move to Minnesota, finding a place to live, selling our house and putting everything in storage.  Things moved quickly.  But again, I learned that I was able to rise to the challenge.

It was hard leaving the true friends I had made.  Some people I found to be less than true.  But that’s okay.  Weeding people out of one’s life is one of the processes of life.  Keep the good, and blow the rest into the wind like a dandelion on a summer day.

A new year starts and new challenges lie ahead — starting a business, finding a church to attend, buying a house, meeting new people and keeping in touch with those left behind, convincing the son who stayed in Seattle that Minnesota is a goodly state and perhaps he should join us.  And the first priority — keeping a strong relationship with the Creator of this universe, my Maker and my King.

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