Alton Webteam: December 2016
As I write this article I'm aware that you may see this before the New Year has actually begun! Of course within any organisation there is a need to be looking ahead. In school we were always asked for 3 year long term plans which, given the pace of change and unknown factors beyond our control, rarely had much value as a written document! However what was of value was the process of writing them. Staff and governors sat down to reflect on the past year and to consider what had been achieved; i.e. what had made a difference to the lives of the individual children we had worked with, and what we could do better or at least differently in the coming year.
In my first assembly of January I sometimes used this image of a statue of Janus in the Vatican Museums (photo taken by Loudon Dodd). In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, time, doorways and endings. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named after him and he is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks both to the future and to the past.
As we begin to wonder what 2017 will bring for us as individuals and as a church, perhaps we could take a minute to reflect upon what difference we have made to the lives of those we have encountered in the past year? Those we have worked with, worshipped with, lived as neighbours beside, supported through illness or bereavement. Perhaps we will never know the impact of a kind word, a timely phone call, a card or note. Let's also give thanks for those who have walked alongside us.
As we move forward into 2017 what will be your New Year resolution? Do you have new ideas about how we can make a difference? — come and share them. But there is surely no better resolution than the words of Paul Field in the song "Go Peaceful" which conclude with "May you be known by love"
Happy New Year to you all — in His love
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