A New Year’s resolution
Last updated 1/3/2023 at Noon
When I was a kid growing up, my dad would often say to me, “Where are you going?” or “Where have you been?” These questions would bring a pause for reflection. They brought about thoughts of purpose, identity, values. Often they would stimulate some changes in behavior. Sometimes even become New Year’s resolutions.
As we enter a new year at SCC (Sisters Community Church), I think they are pretty good questions to ask of ourselves as a congregation. What is the role we want to play in our Sisters community? Where are we headed? And like any journey it is good to look back and reflect — where have we been? The answer can guide us to determine how and where we want to go forward.
Over the last five years we have cultivated some answers to these questions by creating what we believe to be our purpose. As a church we have adopted a mission statement: Connect with God, Care for People, and Cultivate Community. The goal of this mission is to be a blessing to our larger Sisters community. Connecting, caring, and cultivating are the values that drive us to be a good neighbor.
As our church community resolves to remember where we have been, we want to thank the larger Sisters community for its support. You have helped us to help others, giving many a sense of belonging, a place in their community. You have helped us make a difference by giving your time, money, expertise, and most of all compassionate care. Our free summer concerts saw as many as 500 people at each event, helping us raise close to $20,000 for valuable organizations that reach out to our youth, VFW, the houseless, and others in need.
Every week we meet new people, some who just moved to Sisters and some who’ve lived here awhile, but all who want to connect. Many need a helping hand, a listening ear, or a warm heart. Some have fallen on tough times, dark times. Their needs are basic — gas money, help with rent, a warming gift of firewood, or simply encouragement and sincere friendship.
Throughout the past year, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to partner with others to provide meals and education. Fine organizations that offer valuable services were able to use our kitchen, dining hall, and classrooms. They recently hosted 550 guests at a Thanksgiving dinner. Looking back at where we’ve been encourages us to look forward to where we are going. We want to continue along this path. And we resolve to find new ways to offer even more compassion and care. We resolve to love our neighbors — not only in word but by deed.
As I consider this year’s resolutions, I’m mindful of something else my dad used to tell me: “Remember who you are.” As a church, we have a new identity. One that will impact our New Year’s resolutions. During a year when division and disunity spread throughout our land, we became a unifying church, a reconciling church. We have experienced the joy of coming together with Vast Church to become a better SCC.
We went from being a church of “grandparents” to a multi-generational congregation. We now have a multitude of delightful children running about, creating even greater opportunities for productivity. We’ve all been stretched as we witnessed unity and diversity springing to life. We’ve changed and grown, and in the midst of what sometimes felt like chaos, we’ve learned to love and lean on new family members.
This renewed confidence in community helps us to embrace our differences, binding us together in a beautifully unified mission. Our new identity helps us to connect with God in more loving, unique, and meaningful ways. And together we hope to have an even greater impact in serving the larger Sisters community.
Our final resolution is to move forward with grace and truth, loving God and being good neighbors. We want to ask more questions, and to discover how to serve Sisters more effectively. We believe there is incredible beauty in the mountains but even more beauty in the people who live in Sisters!
We look forward to this new year. We are grateful to all that have helped us finish well. We will continue to be true to our mission to help us all connect with God, care for people, and cultivate community. This is our New Year’s resolution.