From Pastor Paul:

As I sit here in my office looking out the window, it’s raining and the wind chill is hovering around 30 degrees. It’s on days like today when I think how nice it would have been to stay in bed wrapped in a warm blanket or to be sitting in front of a warm fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. However, I realize that we can’t always do what we want to do. In fact many times in life we find ourselves dealing with climate changes (and I don’t mean just the temperature) that we just don’t want to face. We would rather be anyplace but where we are.


Every year, many of us resolve to do things differently in the coming year. We do so in hopes that maybe the coming year will be the year that we overcome some of the addictions and habits that have become a burden in our lives. Maybe you resolved to lose weight. Maybe you thought that it was time to lay off the chocolates or caffeine. Maybe you decided this was the year you were going to make amends with someone whom you have had a falling out with. One month into the New Year, I can’t help but wonder how many of you are struggling to keep those New Year’s Resolutions that you set. We tend to make excuses and the climate might not always seem right for change. Many outside circumstances force us to alter our commitments and so we struggle along doing the best we can.


As Christians, we have been called to present the Gospel message to the world. To do so, we need to change our way of thinking and find a way to come together. It is only when we come together that we are truly the body of Christ. It is as a collection of members that we accomplish the works of apostles, prophets, teachers and healers. It is only when we work together that the whole Christian story can be told.


Last Sunday we embarked upon a journey to be unified in prayer as a church community. Through this Prayer Initiative we are making a commitment to come together in prayer (this prayer can be found in this month’s E-Navigator, our weekly Guidelines for Prayer and the bulletin each week) on a regular basis and listen for God’s guidance (nudgings) through the process. The leadership at Calvary believes that this is one way we can come together as a unified body and as we share our stories about what God has laid on our hearts we will begin to understand how God is calling us to present the Gospel message to the community that we serve. This will allow us to focus on matters outside our own personal lives and perhaps change the narrative of this church as we venture out into the unknown future.


So, how will we tell the Christian story in the year that lies ahead? What New Year’s Resolutions will we make as the body of Christ in our church today, and what will we do to show that our commitment is more than skin deep? This is the year to:


  • Show real warmth as we reach out to the community, welcome visitors to our congregation, and work to strengthen the bonds of Christian community among us.
  • Demand authenticity in our Christian education, congregational care and personal interaction inside, and outside, of the church, so that we won’t settle for pat answers to difficult questions or challenges.
  • Encourage passion in our worship and outreach to our community, so that everyone will feel and see, our commitment to the work of our gracious and powerful God.
  • Focus on Jesus in every aspect of our church’s life, so that we will be able to deepen our relationship with the One who is our Lord and our Savior.


Warmth, Authenticity, Passion and JesusThese are the four key characteristics of a healthy church, and they are the four qualities that will be decisive for the vitality of the body of Christ in 2023 and in the years to come. See you Sunday!!


Pastor Paul