The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
Let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
For this reason I will praise you while I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For nothing will be impossible with God.
Persevere was my Word for this Year.
Looking at where I am in my life, I really didn’t want to take on anything new, but I did need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.
- Politically – I persisted in the resistance.
- People Power – I worked hard (10-30 hours a week all year-long) as one of the leads for People Power. We sent texts to ACLU Members all over the country, and folks on voting rolls in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We texted about threats to freedom and civil liberties. (Remember, the ACLU is non-partisan. When we sent score-cards for Attorneys General and Governors, we were often accused of being pro-Democrat, but the scorecards were based on public statements from the various campaigns.) The volunteers for PeoplePower sent 5,781,175 individual texts during the year (yes, sent individually, and answered if there were any questions/comments. Otherwise, it would be spam – no robo-dialing for us.) We sent 3,257,851 texts in October and November alone.
- Wall of Us – I kept up with the Wall of Us actions through the mid-term elections.
- I made donations to the ACLU, the SPLC, and the Poor People’s Campaign.
- Although Initiative 1631 got enough signatures to get on the ballot, we lost in the election due to the billions in advertising money poured into the state by Big Oil.
- Religiously – I had a really successful year as Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
- We welcomed new ministers into the Presbytery. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to install five ministers (four of whom were new to the Presbytery) in churches all over the Presbytery. Four of them went to churches who had been on the verge of closing because of declining membership, and we were able to provide enough help for them that they could call a pastor.
- We chartered Umoja Presbyterian Church as a fully fledged congregation. They had been a New Worshipping Community for at least 5 years, and they finally were able to call a minister. I ordained and installed their first session and diaconate in a wonderful celebration.
- We called an organizing pastor, Rev. Laine Brubaker, for our New Worshipping Community at the Women’s Correctional Center for Washington.
- Camp Soundview – after being on the verge of closing our camp three years ago, we hired a new director, and empowered the board to begin making improvements. The camp is located at the southern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, and has had two successful summer seasons. It is also beginning to be self-supporting with grants, fundraising, and year-round Outdoor Education, open to schools and groups in the area.
- Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
- I was elected by the 223rd General Assembly to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA) class of 2024.
- I took three creative writing courses this year, and the instructor has helped me by editing some of my things. I love working with narrative poetry, particularly exploring little-known people in the Bible
- I kept up with my knitting through the spring, and sporadically through the summer and fall. I was able to donate a couple of dozen pairs of socks to the homeless shelter in December.
- I usually get 10,000+ steps a day, except on Sundays when I observe Sabbath. I try to keep my calorie intake in the 1200-1300 calorie a day range.
- I have a personal trainer who I work with on strength training twice a week. I’m beginning to conquer my fear of stairs.
- Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
- Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and occasionally attend the Book Group.
Book Group Christmas Party
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed,
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!
Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”