Looking back at 2018

A new calendar year is underway.  It’s a good time to look back on the previous year and give thanks for how the Spirit of love, grace, and justice has accompanied us along the way.  It’s also a good time to change the hard-to-pronounce Phloem and Xylem blog title to the more pragmatic Midweek Blog.  Without trying be exhaustive, here are some highlights from each month of 2018.

January | Winter
Seminar featured Sara Thompson and Jonathan Brenneman (who have since married)
presenting on skill building for confrontational nonviolence.  One of the role playing scenarios I remember
had us pairing up and practicing a de-escalation of encountering someone
angrily kicking their dog.       

February | Our Fellowship
Hall was transformed into Chateau CMC for the open mic coffee house coinciding
with the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.  Along
with the musical performances, in-house Olympic-like events included trying to
move an Oreo from your forehead to your mouth with no hands.   

March | Several
CMCers joined with our neighbor choir at North Broadway UMC to perform “Requiem”
by Maurice Durufle. 

April | Mark
began his Sabbatical.  Winter/Spring
Dinner Groups met in homes, a chance to meet new people around a good meal.    

May | We joined
2500+ people of faith for the annual BREAD Nehemiah Action.  This year’s new issue was affordable
housing.  As a congregation we welcomed
13 new members and heard from them about their faith journey.

June | Our annual
comforter blessing included a record 239 comforters made by our Piecemakers
group, with assistance from the congregation during the spring knotting
party.  Comforters were delivered to the
Kidron MCC office and distributed to refugees in 13 countries.

July | As a part
of my summer Sabbatical Eve and I visited with our sister church in Armenia,
Colombia.  After much help in translating
the manuscript, I preached in Spanish for the first time.

August | We had
our second session of “The busy person’s retreat: An introduction to Spiritual
Direction” through The Spirituality Network. 
Participants met three times one-on-one with a spiritual director and as
a group.

September | Our
worship focus reviewed the summer theme of “Called In: World, City,
Congregation, Self.”  We enjoyed the four
new banners corresponding with these themes.

October | We
observed one year in Sanctuary with Edith by hosting a press conference and
prayer vigil. That week also included a rally at the ICE offices downtown.   

November |  Our Leadership Team and Ministry Council met to
begin the conversation on rewriting our congregation Membership
Commitment.  January includes chances for
anyone to provide input.

December | CMC
children don sheep, angel, and various other costumes to perform “Room for

Thanks to each of you for bringing your selves into this
congregation and for the many ways you witness to the love and goodness that
sustain us.

Blessings for 2019,