New Year message from David Guretzki, resident theologian

04 January 2021
If you’re like me, you usually begin a New Year with a boost of energy, anticipating certain events that are on the horizon or accomplishments that you wish to achieve. This year, though, that energy and anticipation is tempered with the reality that we begin the new year facing many of the same challenges that made 2020 so difficult.
Standing at the outset of 2021, the board and staff of the EFC are anticipating the issues we will engage with for what we believe to be the good of our country. We think about what articles might appear in Faith Today; the research projects we will be working on to serve and strengthen the Church; the partnerships we will build because we know we are stronger together than apart; and the political and legal issues to which we are called upon to speak.
I suspect you do the same kind of “accounting and planning” within your own lives and organizations. But unlike past years, we are being called upon to think and plan and pray under conditions that we still do not fully understand, and with a clearer sense that we do not always know what we do not know.
Most parts of our country are still in pandemic lockdown. We are still very much living with Covid-19, even as we are hopeful as we anticipate the coming vaccines. Within the EFC family, we are feeling this acutely with our friend and president Bruce Clemenger in intensive care with Covid, even as I write these words. We are praying urgently for him and his family, just as I am certain your prayers are concentrating these days on the people you know and love in your circles who have been impacted by this pandemic. Thank you for praying with us for Bruce and his family.
When we entered 2020 most of us had sketches of a script we hoped would be played out in the year. However, that script was radically altered, at best, or irrevocably run through the shredder at worst. Now as we enter 2021, we do so much more cautiously, with grief and pain accompanying us more this year than perhaps any other year in memory.
We’ve learned more about how to wait well. We’ve learned to dig deep and therefore find new depths within ourselves and certainly within our teams. And hopefully, we’ve learned to cast ourselves more deeply upon the provision and guidance of our Great Physician and Redeemer, Jesus our Lord.
We probably all begin 2021 a little bit slower than usual, but let’s do so full of hope, having faith in our God, and doing our utmost to love one another deeply, even as Christ has loved us. May I encourage you today and in weeks ahead to continue to do the good work you’ve been called to do, in a country that needs the strength and service of the Church more than ever. And let’s continue to do that very good work together in the name of Jesus for the blessing of our nation.
Author: David Guretzki

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