Welcome 2011



Welcome 2011: Another Year to Participate in the Spirit’s Work of Renewal!

A Message from President Dr. Wendy J. Deichmann

pheonixrenewWe’ve been given the start of another year to be part of God’s purposes on the Earth!  We are truly blessed!  Thanks be to God!

And thanks to God as well for walking with us through the growth, the joys and the pains of 2010.

What about New Year’s Resolutions?  At United we are resolved to continue to follow the Spirit’s lead for renewal.  This begins with renewal of our own lives and community trusting in the grace of Jesus Christ, but it does not end with us.  No, the Spirit of God does not lead to discouragement or complacency in the face of the needs within or around us.  Instead, the Holy Spirit boldly engages our active participation in our own renewal and in renewal of the Church for the sake of the transforming mission of Jesus Christ in the world!

It is a large challenge, this work of renewal.  Many of us felt quite tired out by the end of 2010.  Stresses, setbacks and various griefs occurred in our lives, in the Church and in the world.  If we had not already come to this conclusion, we should know by now that true renewal is not even possible from a human standpoint.  That is, in this world, renewal is not possible without God’s intervention and without God’s power effecting it.

It is also true that with God all things are possible.  Do we dare to believe this?  I do so believe.  The Spirit of God is always working to bring hope and renewal, especially in all the persons and places most in need of it.  Renewal is always possible and frankly, in this world it is always needed.  So we should never neglect to pray and work for renewal together with God.  Yes, I for one need a steady diet of the Spirit’s renewing grace and power or I will die with all those who are starving for spiritual food and life.

In Jesus himself, in the beautiful incarnation of the Word of God in human form, we see an incremental and overwhelming dawn, in God’s time, of the hope and light of the world stealing into our human reality to transform it.  And it will be so in 2011, in ways that will surprise us.

In this new year and always,

Come, Holy Spirit, come and change, heal, renew us,

For your purposes in this world.

In the powerful name of Jesus,