Andy’s Flaming Chalice – January 2013

A New Year is upon us! Some of us greet the new year with resolutions about behavior to begin or extinguish, goals to reach, mistakes to avoid. I’m not one of those people, but I’m always interested in hearing about other people’s resolutions because there is a traditional opportunity for fresh starts as the year begins, and I like to hear about change.

I honor the long Judeo-Christian doctrinal traditions of Christmas and have a warm regard for many parts of it that I don’t even believe in; I just like having it “there,” as one ancient vision of comfort and renewal and celebration. I like the feeling of reverence that comes with the Yuletide, even though the things I myself revere are less conventional. But like many of us, I also heartily welcome January’s leaner social calendar and more austere diet. A good January holiday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: respectful, hopeful, community-based, and while in some ways a spiritual and religious observance, it is tied to religious values rather than religious doctrine. A good January diet is filled with fruits and vegetables (remember them?). A good January goal is saving money instead of spending it, a good task is cleaning a closet or garage — unromantic life-maintenance and a return to mundane but necessary concerns are January tonics I greatly enjoy!

Do you know what your Starr King Board of Trustees does? How it selected? How you can participate? We try to publicize the activities of your Starr King BOT but know that it’s an ongoing need. With that in mind, we’ll be having an after-church presentation this month about the nature and customary concerns of the Board of Trustees, how its decisions are made, and from whence its authority derives. Keep your eyes out for the announcement of this presentation, as YOU are the stakeholder we are trying to reach.

Our Starr King Board of Trustees and Committee on Ministry are preparing for their annual joint retreat on February 2nd, 2013, to work on challenges and plans for the coming year and map a way forward in terms of church governance and program development. I think we will be focusing a great deal of our retreat time on Leadership Development at Starr King, and I expect it to be exciting and fruitful. The people who represent you on these bodies are very dedicated and engaged; they and I look forward to this work.

I wish you many good and homely tasks this month, deep breathing, new possibilities.