God of All Grace, All Hope, All Love-

As we enter this sparkling new year, may we shed the coats of regret left upon our souls from last year. May the lessons remain in our minds while the shame is left in the past.

As a crisp, fresh year sits in front of us, we ask for your wisdom to carry us from task to task. Undoubtedly, we will face new challenges throughout the year. We seek your peace and clarity as we hike new physical, mental, and spiritual terrains.

May your winds from the north help us to release fear. May your winds from the south aid us in releasing uncertainty.

This year may be our best. The clouds may part and your Divine Sparkles may be seen clearly. However, it may be the most demanding and discouraging. We may shed more tears that all years combined. We don’t know what our new year holds…

But your presence will grace us day after day- even when night skies are covered by thick clouds and rain drowns all joy.

And you will be walking with us in our moments of celebration or as we search for higher ground and sunny days again.

Amen.

*****
The Rev. Michelle L. Torigian is the Senior Pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Belleville, Illinois. Her essay “Always a Pastor, Never the Bride” was in the RevGalBlogPals book There’s a Woman in the Pulpit. She also has chapters in the books Sacred Habits: The Rise of the Creative Clergy and A Child Laughs: Prayers for Justice and Hope. Torigian blogs at http://www.michelletorigian.com.

*****
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