Happy New Year, My Friends,

Not as a new year’s resolution do I hold this first thought up to you, but as a reminder of spiritual disciplines I hope you practice daily: “The best Man that ever lived on our planet illustrated . . . receptivity and response rhythm. No one was so utterly dependent on God and no one was more personally disciplined in his habits. He did three things by habit: (1) ‘He stood up to read as was his custom’ – he read the Word of God by habit. (2) ‘He went out into the mountain to pray as was his custom’ – he prayed by habit. (3) ‘He taught them again as was his custom’ – he passed on to others by habit what he had and what he had found. These simple habits were the foundation habits of his life. They are as up-to-date as tomorrow morning. No converted person can live without those habits at work vitally in his (sic) life.” E. Stanley Jones, Methodist Lay Evangelist

Tish Sims asked if I’d share this next piece with you:
I am selling “goodies” to raise money for the Katrina mission trip. I am selling “trash” (cereal and nuts covered in chocolate — white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate). I am also taking orders for them if there are certain food allergies or big orders. Please look for me in Hartford Hall during Coffee Fellowship. Thanks, Tish

“My Friends Place” is looking for a clean living room sofa in good condition ~ no sleepers please – they can pick it up if need be. Give them a call at 749-3017.

We have our first Red Cross Blood Drive of the year tomorrow, Friday, January 3rd, from 1 till 6 PM. The folks at Red Cross said they never cancel a blood drive – so whatever the weather, please know the blood drive will go on. And if you can get out safely, please come donate blood!!

This Sunday morning we will worship by means of a Covenant Renewal Service – where we renew our covenant to be faithful, committed disciples of Jesus Christ. As your pastor, I urge you to do your best to attend worship this Sunday.

No one has signed up to offer Coffee Fellowship this Sunday. If that’s something you can do, please let Bobbie Garneau know. BUT, the rest of the 2014 chart is blank – so it would be great if a line formed at the sign-up sheet, to fill out the upcoming Sundays! You help to create the atmosphere of fellowship and welcome in our congregation. Can’t do it alone? Find a friend or two to do it with you!! And thanks very much.

Speaking of sign-up charts, the 2014 Flower Chart has been posted. There are several dates that have been filled in, by folks who provide flowers just about every year on a certain date (i.e the anniversary of a loved one’s death, or to remember/honor a birthday, etc.). But there are still plenty of Sundays that haven’t been ‘spoken for.’ Please check out the chart on the Worship bulletin board – the first one on the right side of Hartford Hall. Thanks.

Here’s one of those “to keep you humble” stories:
“Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. ‘In ten years,’ I said, ‘You’ll want to be with your friends and you won’t go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.’ Carolyn shrugged. ‘In ten years you’ll be too old to do all those things anyway.'”

Oh well, keep up the good work, anyway!! See you in church. Peace, Mark