As this year comes to its much anticipated end, we’re presented with an opportunity to reflect back on how we have navigated all the challenges and celebrations that we have experienced personally and collectively as a community. This year has been highlighted by an unforgiving pandemic that forced us into isolation, passionate protests against racial injustice and police brutality, an extremely divisive election that still weighs our country down, and multiple transitions on our Vox staff that has taken a toll on our leadership team. That doesn’t even include many of the personal difficulties and challenges that many of us have experienced over the course of the year, including the loss and death of loved ones. So much has happened and we’re still processing all the pain, trauma, loss and impact that each of these things have had on us.
For all of these challenges, let us continue to pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
At the same time, we have been gifted with glimpses of hope, grace, and love. God’s presence and care can be seen and felt in the small spaces that can get overlooked — a delivered meal, a peaceful walk through the neighborhood, and yes even a Zoom call with a close friend. This Advent season has become even more of a reminder that we are to anticipate and look for the light of God that is already in and around us.
In the midst of all that we have experienced together, we want to express our gratitude to the Vox community.
We’re grateful for our liturgy tech team that facilitates our online liturgy each Sunday.
We’re grateful for our Leadership Team who has invested so much time and energy navigating our staff transitions.
We’re grateful for the emails and notes that expressed care and encouragement for our staff.
We’re grateful for the new Vesper mural being painted.
We’re grateful for your continued generosity in supporting our community and those beyond.
For all of these gifts, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.
As we enter a new year and season, may we continue to look for and receive the gifts of grace and love that God offers us even in the midst of darkness. We leave you with a blessing for a New Beginning from John O’Donohue.
May you find rest and peace this season,
The Vox Staff
“For a New Beginning”
by John O’Donohue
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
[Photo by Robert Ogilvie]