art-4069329_1920It’s not just one year ending and another beginning. This year there is the added impact of a new decade. When we write the date, this year we need to retrain our muscle memory to write two different digits instead of just one.

The new year was on the minds of a number of our bloggers. Often, the calendar offered an opportunity to take stock of what had happened in the last year and the last decade. Changes, both welcome and painful, all left their imprint on those writing this week.

Stacy Sergent, writing at Stacy N. Sergent, offers a sweeping review of the ways in which the 201X decade has allowed her to grow and change. “I’m a sucker for new beginnings, and for nice round numbers ending in zero, so despite a pretty tough 2019, I find myself very hopeful as we face the beginning of a new year and a new decade.”

Amanda Gayle Reed, blogging at Appalachian Preacher, looks forward to new plans for the upcoming year. “I’ve been thinking a great deal about how to deepen my spiritual life. I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions, but I knew that I wanted a theme to follow in this new year so that I don’t fall into the blah-ness of middle aged life.”

Jan Edmiston looks even farther ahead in her blog A Church for Starving Artists. “Envision standing in your church sanctuary on the first Sunday morning of the year 2030 Or maybe you are in the fellowship hall or family life center or gymnasium or classroom or the parking lot on the first Sunday ten years from now.  What do you see?”

For a number of people, the new year is marked by obtaining a new Star Word. Some of our writers are reflecting on their Star Word from 2019, while others are sharing their first reaction to their 2020 Star Word.

Deb Vaughn, blogging at An Unfinished Symphony, offers an explanation of the background of Star Words. “In choosing/giving a star word, there is an opportunity for reflection and even re-direction. After all, the Magi thought a new King would be born in a palace. Instead, the scholars in Herod’s court told them to go to Bethlehem. They also listened to the warnings of the Divine (even through dreams!) to not return and tell Herod where the Child was living with his family.” Deb also makes a generous offer in her blog post to draw a Star Word for any reader who doesn’t have that opportunity in their local congregation; just leave a comment on her blog requesting a word.

Marci Glass, blogging at Glass Overflowing, reflects on her 2019 Star Word: Beloved. “We are God’s beloved children. So are the people we hate, the people we put in cages, the people we demonize, the people we fear. I believe that if we live as beloved children of a loving God, we will better figure out how to treat other people as also beloved children of a loving God. I also believe if we treat other people as beloved, we may learn to see ourselves as beloved. How else will we get through this thing called life?”

In another post on An Unfinished Symphony, Deb Vaughn offers a reflection on her 2019 Star Word and a sneak-peek at her 2020 word. “My “Star Word” for 2019 was “Growth.” A word that I was not exactly excited about drawing during the Epiphany service in January 2019. But it is a word that perfectly describes my year… And my Star Word for 2020? CONVICTION. Wow. OK. I’ll be pondering that more…”

My Star Word for 2019 was Vitality, something that was a challenge for me this year in a variety of ways. Somehow it seems entirely fitting that the star itself went missing for a few months in the summer and fall. Sharing all these posts with you has become a reminder that I want to write more about that in my own blog.

These bloggers represent just a few of the 100+ new posts by our bloggers each week. Follow the links to visit their blogs; and please leave a Like or a comment so they know you appreciate their work.

Barbara Bruneau is a retired Lutheran pastor, living in southeastern Minnesota. She is a knitter, a weaver, and a very occasional blogger at An Explosion of Texture and Color.

Photo credit: Raquel Lopez on

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