Notes from the Pastor – January 2023

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been thinking more about your habits lately. Even for those of us who don’t really do resolutions at the start of a calendar year, it’s hard to escape the self-improvement impulse that January tends to bring. Christmastime can bring with it a lot of emotions, and not every method we choose to cope with those emotions is really all that helpful. I don’t necessarily think everyone needs to have resolutions, but we do all need to be conscious of our habits, asking ourselves whether the rhythms and grooves we have settled into are enabling us to live the life that God has called us to.

How we spend our time is a reflection of our priorities. Our habits, the patterns that shape our lives, are more than simple routines, but are in a sense our own personal rituals. All rituals attune us to something; the question is what—or whom.

That’s why for the season of Epiphany, our adult Faith Formation class will be looking at the spiritual power of habit in our lives, drawing on the work of James K.A. Smith in his book You Are What You Love. In this seven-week study we will complicate the dichotomy of head and heart, examine what Smith calls ‘secular liturgies’ and how they shape our lives, and learn how ritual and habit can be used as tools to re-orient our hearts towards the ultimate good. Faith Formation will meet at 9:30am on Sundays, beginning January 8th, and Sunday School for children will be available at the same time.