My wife, Carrie, and I have chosen a word for 2021. Our word is "flourish".
This word, as defined in the inserted image, means to, "1.) Grow or develop in a healthy way, especially as the result of a favorable environment. 2.) to thrive. 3.) to cultivate order, beauty, and abundance for the common-good of others."
I had this word and definition framed to display prominently in our home, in order to regularly be reminded of it. We like the word because it speaks to what we hope to accomplish this year - to grow and develop in healthy ways, to thrive, and to cultivate order, beauty, and abundance. Or, in a word, flourish.
I encourage you, you and your spouse, or your entire family, to select a word to reflect on throughout 2021. You can use our word, if you'd like. But as I begin serving as your pastor, I thought it might be good for us a congregation to also have a word. The word I have chosen jumped out at from the definition above. The word is "abundance."
You'll be hearing me use this word often in 2021 as it relates to our mission and ministry at St. Paul's and how we view ourselves as a congregation. There are two common forms of thought among congregations - one of scarcity and one of abundance. Instead of focusing on how little we might have as a congregation, I will be encouraging and challenging you to focus on how much we have as a congregation. I can already seen how much God has blessed our congregation. I have fresh eyes to see it all so clearly. God has abundantly blessed St. Paul's - throughout the years, and still today. Allow me to remind you and help you see the many ways.
So please, choose a word to brings meaning, hope, and/or purpose to your life this year. If you do, I would love to hear what your word is. But as a congregation, our word of meaning, hope, and purpose will be - Abundance. Watch for it. Listen for it. Pay attention to it. Finally, share with me, if you will, how abundantly blessed you see St. Paul Lutheran is, and in what ways. I would love to hear.