January 2021 was hardly the pivot month toward a new, better, brighter year! Still, we’ve taken a few tentative steps toward that new reality. We hope to be able to be sprinting soon in the direction of the oft-mentioned light at the end of the tunnel. Some of us grew up in the early days of rock and roll. Tumultuous times they were. January, 2021 might redefine our understanding of that word, however. A great preacher long ago shared a Good Friday sermon entitled, It’s Friday…but Sunday’s Comin’! I plagiarize: It’s January…but February’s comin’!! However you may feel about the results of the recent elections, we have gotten beyond the disruptive events of early January and have peacefully (if differently) inaugurated the next President and Vice-President of the United States. I will continue my practice of lifting them up in my daily prayers, along with the many others who guide us in government service.

Some of the moving-ahead things I hinted at in my January article (remember that?!?) are on the docket for the month. I told you so! A congregational meeting for the purpose of electing a Pastor Nominating Committee at Third Church is on the calendar for January 31st after worship—almost February! That group will immediately begin the rigorous and rewarding process of identifying the next pastor/head of staff for you all. On a broader scale, vaccines will be more and more available for larger and larger portions of all of us, inching us closer to the new normal we long for so desperately. In the meantime, your hard-working, adaptable, creative staff and volunteer leaders at Third Church will imagine even more ways to worship, care for one another, and meet the needs of the community into which we long ago were plopped. AND we will find the time, talent, and treasure to move ahead toward and into a third century of ministry in Rochester; our tricentennial year, 2027, will be here before you know it!!

Along with being the month when we really move ahead in ministry and mission in 2021, February marks some special personal milestones in my life. Of course, there is Valentine’s Day, about which I will say no more. On a related note, February 4, 2021 will mark the 37th anniversary of my marriage to Patricia Tillou, DC, who decided it was also a good thing to become my wife. We get to save a little $$ each year; One year, I buy Patricia an anniversary card, the next, a Valentine’s card. Once in a while both, but not often. Both of my much-loved departed parents were born in February: Mom on February 3rd and Dad on the 19th. Dad also died peacefully and gracefully according to his own script on February 12, 2006, a week short of his 86th birthday. And my sweet, favorite third-daughter, Lydia held on to Momma’s umbilical cord long enough to be born on February 15th, and not the 14th, a relief she later expressed, though not on the day of her birth. So February gives me lots of reasons to stop, remember, and be grateful.

One of those reasons is that God still seems to think I am useful. And so far, so do you. I am grateful for the immense privilege of serving with you as we journey through this transitory time. 

Blessings, Pastor Zomermaand