Andy’s Chalice – Plain Living

Greetings! Welcome to 2012. I love January’s quieter calendar, blander foods and relative lack of retail exhortation. I enjoy January’s refreshing regularity. Holiday expectations are a done deal; they were met, or they were unmet.
Personally, I don’t make resolutions, so my January regimen is not cluttered with seasonal attempts at self-improvement. In my experience, resolutions are too often a set-up for disappointment and the unpleasant sheepish feeling of coming to terms, after roundly declaring The New Leaf, with the difference between wishing for personal change, and actually changing.

January is also a time to dispense with the magical thinking and nostalgia of October, November and December. I find that magic both charming and wearing. Instead, January provides a day to consider the unmagical but practical, visionary and fundamentally heartening work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance of MLK Day urges me to reflect on social justice and injustice, to see what is not yet achieved in the present. Yet I feel awe and gratitude for the many shoulders we stand upon today, women and men who spoke out, risked, influenced their generations and often toiled anonymously for a fairer and more peaceful world. Join our community celebration of Dr. King at Hayward City Hall on MLK Day! Selections from his writings will be read aloud and “justice music” performed by local school choirs.

Starr King also begins a schedule of speakers and programs specially arranged for the Ministerial Sabbatical, which will run from January 1st through the month of April. Our Worship Committee and Rev. Katie have planned extensively to make this a fruitful and interesting time in our Worship schedule, and I look forward to many new perspectives.

Finally, January 2012 brings the annual day-long joint retreat of Starr King’s Board of Trustees and Committee on Ministry, on Saturday the 28th. Charged with caring for the interests of Ministry and Stewardship at Starr King Church, this group will be considering your many suggestions for our congregation’s near-term and longer-term development. We hope to leave this busy retreat day with a solid basic framework for a new Five-Year Plan in hand.

I wish you peace, quiet, rest and regularity for your precious January days!