Greetings CCOV Family,
I have to say that these winter months are my favorite times of the year at CCOV! Our seasonal members return, energy builds during worship, and our annual meeting gives us an opportunity to look back over the past year and forward to the year before us. Looking backward and forward during the month of January is a fairly traditional practice. Janus, the god of ancient Roman religion and myth with which the month of January is associated, has two faces—one to look backward and one to look forward. While I certainly don’t believe in him, I appreciate the poetic symbolism of Janus’ association with beginnings, gates, time, doorways, and transition at this time of year.
As I look back over 2016, I can say that I feel good about the successful year of transition just behind us. Some of our former members have returned, our budget is stable, and we are hopeful that we can continue to be a beacon of hope in our community. In many ways, we reinvented ourselves in 2016. We went to a different meeting format through the summer with Bible study, fellowship breakfasts, and mission planning. We explored and decided upon mission projects that a congregation of our size and age can accomplish. I solicited congregational input for our worship format and made the suggested changes to the bulletin with good effect. Responding to preaching requests, I took us through Philippians in the spring and Romans in the fall, as well as addressed particular topics you have always wanted to hear about. Our music program continues to be spectacular. What’s more, it seems that we have a better sense of who we are as a congregation: We are not so much a community of activists as we are caregivers: we care for our community through our mission projects and we care for one another.
Looking forward to 2017, we have much hope! We have hope of growing in our faith, adding new members, accomplishing our mission goals, and making the needed repairs to our buildings. Of course, hope only becomes reality when we pledge our commitment, presence, service, and money. I have faith that all of us will continue to step up and move CCOV UCC well into the future!