Happy New Year!

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As we begin 2012 and bid farewell to 2011 we cannot help but reflect on what has happened these last twelve months.  It has been a long year for the entire Mad River Valley.  In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, it begins with these words:  “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”  We often reflect on these words when life has presented us tragedy or hard times, but this passage also speaks of building up, of planting, gathering, loving and peacemaking.  It goes on to say that God wants us to know the goodness that comes from our labor.

Well, we have labored together pretty intensively this past year.  We had to work together in the mud, in the fields, on the river banks and in basements.  We had to sort out what needed to be kept and what needed to be let go and we discovered new avenues to move us forward.  We also developed deeper relationships with each other and opened previously unknown doors for future possibilities.  That is great news for all of us.  Perhaps what 2011 really did, besides challenge us…was to plant the seed of new relationships, new dreams and hopes for the future.

As we move into 2012 may we joyfully step through the thresholds of new opportunities.  May we nourish the new and renewed relationships and take pleasure in the fruits of our labor.  Let us do it loving God, neighbor and self….and trusting in God’s grace and guidance for the days ahead.