New Year’s greetings to you all!

Dear Congregation,

New Year’s greetings to you all and much joy and happiness in 2022! I am looking forward, as I imagine you are, to leaving 2021 behind, hoping and praying for a better year. The Covid-19 pandemic, of course, has dominated the news and our lives. Even though vaccines, thankfully, became available, along with new treatment options for Covid-19, we couldn’t have foreseen that first the Delta and now the Omicron variants have prevented the hoped-for end to mask wearing, and other pandemic protocols. I certainly didn’t imagine we’d be returning to outdoor worship in the Garden Chapel last week because of highly transmissible Omicron. And yet, how fortunate we are as church to have the option of worshipping in Garden Chapel with its beauty and peace!

Thinking back to celebrating the New Year when I was young, one of the traditions in our community, and in our family, was around food for the holiday dinner. Because Sandusky, OH, had many German immigrants, (my maiden name was Zimmerman!) these were German foods and traditions. We always bought a New Year’s Pretzel from Fedderson’s Bakery and had roast pork and sauerkraut for dinner. The large pretzel made from sweet yeast bread was thought to bring good luck. Pork was eaten to bring prosperity and progress. Although I doubt that eating a certain food guarantees these things, there is a certain joy in traditions. It’s as if they anchor us in time to memories that are a part of who we are. They give a sense of security amidst the changes time brings.

Belonging to a church and attending worship regularly can do that too! Even though we’ve been challenged to keep worship at CCC going weekly, we’ve been able to do so, with God’s help. In the midst of the fear of pandemic illness and the isolation that was so prevalent this past year, we have had the anchor of being able to gather in several ways to worship God in whom we trust to be with us in all the ups and downs of life.

The new year will inevitably bring new challenges, as well as new opportunities for CCC. Let us prepare ourselves as the church to meet them in the very best way by rooting and grounding ourselves in worship, prayer, and in the strength of gathered community.  

May God bless you in 2022 and always. See you Sunday!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Candy

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