365 New Days – 365 New Chances

Lisa Allgood, Executive Presbyter

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.                                                                                                                                                                                                    – Isaiah 43:18-19

Presbytery of Cincinnati, welcome to a new year of possibility and hope and – well, yeah, bridges!

Despite the words of Isaiah, I want to highlight some of the amazing ministries of the churches in the Presbytery in 2022. Because everything you all did – and I know I’m not going to be able to get to them all – represents an opportunity to expand in 2023 – a bridge of love into the next year, and into our communities and congregations.

  • A church took in Ukrainian refugees
  • A church launched a game-based approach to teaching youth about non-violence
  • A church started renovating their street – one building at a time
  • A church partnered with other churches in the neighborhood to pool resources and amplify the good they could do
  • A church started a Thursday evening coffee ministry
  • A couple of churches have a pub theology offering
  • Many of our churches continue to deliver sandwiches and supplies to Our Daily Bread
  • At least 46 churches have active pantries and food security programs
  • The Presbytery’s One Hopeful Fund supported 7 programs to address poverty, especially for children in our neediest communities, with $72,000 of funds helping an estimated 150 youth and families
  • And my favorite – the church that states boldly they are “Building a bridge between Christ, community and service”

Because isn’t that what all the churches, all of us, are doing through this work? 

The Dalai Lama once said “There are only two days in the year in which nothing can be done – one is called yesterday, and one is called tomorrow. So today is the day…”  The same could be said of a year: “There are only two years in which nothing can be gained for the Kingdom – one is called last year, and one is called next year.  So let this be the year…” – in which each of us finds the way to build and sustain the bridge God has called us to – the bridge of love between us, the Christ Who is our hope, the communities in which we find ourselves – wherever we are – and our service to those around us, in the name of the Lord.

Blessings to you, Presbytery of Cincinnati!  Let this be the year of the Bridge!