Hagerstown Church of the Brethren
15 S. Mulberry St., Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: 301-733-3565 * FAX: 301-733-3598

"Church in the Heart of the City with the City at Heart"
Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

From Pastor Twyla's Desk - January 2022

When a New Year  arrives, many of us look back on all that took place in our lives and in our world over the past year. There are television programs to help us remember the crises and achievements that occurred in our community, nation, and world. Without looking online to be reminded of these things, what comes to the forefront of my thoughts is, once again, the COVID challenges we continue to endure. As is the case for most of us, I would like for this nightmare to end.

Our society calls attention repeat- edly, almost ad nauseum, to the negativity that surrounds us. Whatever it may be that causes pain and adversity on our society and in our personal lives…it is difficult to escape the pressures, frustration and melancholy  we feel because of the focus we put on all of this negativity. 
 
The Bible, on the other hand,  encourages us to focus on God and the good things He brings to our lives. Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, beloved,  whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there  is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Isaiah 43:19 – “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.” When we focus our attention on anything that is praise worthy, we will see God in it and we will discover hope to carry us through the tumultuous times in our lives. Hope replaces our melancholy with joy; and our frustration with perseverance. As we enter this New Year, the choice is ours; will we focus on God…His goodness and will; or will we allow ourselves to be overcome by the negativity and the tribulations of the world around us. Which ever we  choose  will shape how we experience and live each day. I want to share with you a poem/prayer, written by Mary Fairchild. May it help to encourage you as you welcome the New Year.

A New Year's Plan

I tried to think of a clever new phrase—
A slogan to inspire the next 365 days,
A motto to live by this coming New Year,
But the catchy words fell flat to my ear.

And then I heard His still small voice
Saying, "Consider this simple, daily choice:
With each new dawn and close of day
Make new your resolve to trust and obey."

"Don't look back, caught in regret
Or dwell on the sorrow of dreams unmet;
Don't stare forward anchored by fear,
No, live in this moment, for I Am here."

"I am all you need. Everything. I Am.
You are held secure by my strong hand.
Give me this one thing—your all in all;
Into my grace, let yourself fall."

So, at last, I'm ready; I see the way.
It's to daily follow, trust, and obey.
I enter the New Year armed with a plan,
To give Him my everything—all that I am.