Tracy Hartman

This month we will continue to celebrate the season of Epiphany as the Scriptures shed new light on who Jesus is each week. On February 7th we will explore Jesus’ dedication in the temple in Luke 2:22-40. On February 13th, we’ll read the story of Jesus calling his first disciples. The last two weeks of the season we’ll struggle with how Jesus calls us to live. We’ll end the month with Transfiguration Sunday where Jesus will be transformed into light. Plan to join us each week as God surprises us time and time again and we see how these passages relate to us in these challenging days.

          We will also hold our first two Town Hall meetings this month.  Please continue to pray for the transition team, our congregation, and the pastor that God is preparing to call to live and serve at Suffolk Christian Church. Please participate in the meetings, your voice and your story matters! 

          Finally, you are invited to join me in West Memorial on Wednesday January 26th from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. for a presentation by the Lilly Endowment entitled: Exploring the Pandemic's Impact on Congregations: What Do We Know and What Do We Still Need to Learn? This workshop will report new findings from two recent surveys (from August and December 2021) of 4000 churches about how they and their clergy are faring and the challenges and possibilities facing faith communities. It will provide an overview of an extensive Lilly Endowment-funded research project led by Hartford Institute for Religion Research to track what the next five years will look like for faith communities, their leaders and members. Finally, it will explore ways that congregations can participate and be informed by this ongoing research and take advantage of the resources produced.

On the journey with you,
Tracy

 

 

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SEPTEMBER

My Dear Friends, As we are putting the September newsletter together, we are quickly reminded that many of our ministries will once again be at "pedal to the metal" velocity. And that's how it should be. Every Sunday at the time of our offertory, I always thank you, our church family, for your faithful support of all of our ministries and missions. But your support goes ...

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AUGUST!

My Dear Friends, As August comes upon us, I am reminded of my last job in the Navy, that of compiling and editing a book of biographies of our Navy chaplains. Among the data that I compiled was the date of the marriage. I didn't do a thorough "count" for each month of the year, but it was soon evident to me that more weddings occurred in August than in the more traditiona...

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JOIN ME IN A TIME OF PRAYER

My Dear Friends, As a freshman English major at Marshall University, I was interested to learn that languages, including English, never remain static. You can find a good example of this by reading the King James Version of the Bible (1611) and compare it with a more modern translation. Languages change over time! As do human institutions, including churches. As I look o...

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PSALM OF SUMMER

Years ago I ran across "A Psalm of Summer". It is a light-hearted look at how some look at the summer months that are now upon us. I offer it to you, hoping you will get a smile if not a chuckle from it! Now it came to pass that spring turned to summer again. God's people raised their voices and said: "Recreation is my shepherd, I shall not stay at home;Hemakethme to lie...

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MAY IS UPON US

My Dear Friends, As the month of May is upon us, I am sure nobody will be sad if the weather improves a bit and the flowers and plants come to full bloom. "April showers bring May flowers", as we say. This is occasion to stop and praise our heavenly Father for the wonderful gift of the beautiful earth. It is occasion to see how the created order is a powerful testimony f...

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LOOKING TOWARDS EASTER

My Dear Friends, As our Lenten season begins to wind down, we look forward to Easter Sunday. On Sunday, March 3, we saw the Alleluia banner being marched out of the sanctuary on the final hymn. This symbolic act is meant to emphasize the penitential nature of our journey through Lent. "Alleluia" is the song of thechoirs, a song we do not sing during our days of repentance...

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MARCH AND LENT

My Dear Friends, The arrival of the month of March, with its wind and fury, also signals that the holy season of Lent is upon us. I like to look at Lent as an appropriate way to prepare for Easter Sunday. During Lent we ponder the brevity of life, we think about our sins (and confess them), and we meditate on the long and treacherous journey Jesus traveled on his way to ...

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DARING TO CHANGE OUR MIND, FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHURCH

Dear Friends, Dr. Bill Wilson has written a very thoughtfularticlewhich I recommend to you. It is entitled, "Daring to change our mind, for the sake of the church". Dr. Wilson is the founder and director of the Center for Healthy Churches and was formerly pastor of Baptist churches in Farmville and Waynesboro. Let me know your thoughts! Michael...

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