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Pastor Denise Clark-Jones
January 1, 2019
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Another new year has begun. They seem to come faster and faster. Last year, the last month actually, brought an unwelcome surprise for my husband, Tom, and me. Tom’s surgery for a brain bleed necessitated changes to our routine at home and at church, to say the least! We are very thankful for all the help and prayers given to us by the Westminster congregation. Westminster is fortunate to have much talent in the choir so that the music of the season went on as planned. Dr. Doug McQueen, from the base section, took over the organ and hand bell choir. Ashley Schlatweiler, soprano, demonstrated her ability to multi-task, filling in as the choir director while singing her soprano part and even doing solos! At the time of writing this, I do not know when Tom will return as organist/choirmaster, but rest assured, the choir’s ministry of leading worship in song will continue.
One of my favorite poems to read at Christmas is Howard Thurman’s, “The Work of Christmas.” He writes about the period after Christmas as being the time when we focus our labors on the fulfillment of Christ’s mission established when God’s Word-Made-Flesh entered this world. As Christ’s body in the world, as Christ’s faithful disciples, the work that follows our Christmas celebration is to bring hope to others, particularly to the vulnerable and marginalized in society; to bring peace to the world, especially in our own community: to find joy and share joy with others, particularly those who mourn any kind of loss; and to practice loving-kindness in our encounters with all of God’s creation. This is the work of Christmas that our faith demands the rest of the year and the rest of our lives.
For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.- Ephesians 2:10
May this new year bring you newfound joy and the sweet fruits of the Spirit! Pastor Denise
© Rev. Denise Clark-Jones, 2019, All Rights Reserved
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1420 W. Moss Avenue – Peoria Illinois 61606
WestminsterPeoria.org | 309.673.8501
“Throughout the week, there are many worldly things pulling me away from my commitment to God. I come to church on Sunday at Westminster to reconnect and renew my relationship with Him. Part of my worship is to ask him for forgiveness for my lack of faithfulness. I leave, reminded that he loves me, forgives me, and walks beside me every day. What a profound blessing that is!”