The Year Behind (2022) and the Year Ahead (2023) at Reimagine Faith
As the calendar changes from 2022 to 2023, I want to take a moment to review the year behind in my life and at Reimagine Faith and look to 2023. I pray you have been encouraged in your life with God through the reflections published this year on this site. I pray you will also grow through the reflections to come in 2023. I also ask that you pray for me and what is ahead in the new year.
The greatest moment of 2022 was marrying my beloved wife, Anna. Marrying her, figuring out how to live out our wedding vows, creating our home, and ordering our lives together has been an exciting adventure already, and I am excited to see what is in store for 2023. On the blog, I reflected on the Scripture passages read at our wedding in a 4-part series. These were helpful for me to think about at the start of my marriage, and were some of the most-read blogs of the year.
This year has also been a year of loss. I have attended seven funerals of people that have played varying roles in my life in the last half of this year. I wrote two pieces about the grief and challenges I have felt witnessing these losses. You can find them here and here.
Facing these losses, transitions to marriage, and my wife and I discerning what church to belong to have brought up a lot of challenges in my faith. After living a lifetime in the church, I carry a lot of hurts from church transitions and living amidst church divisions. I recently learned ways I carry anger and fear from some of those situations and have, as a result, in many ways, reduced my relationship with God to just my career and academic studies. The end of this year has involved facing that reality. I have written a bit about that on the blog here and here. I ask you to pray for me as I continue to reconnect my relationship with God outside of my career and academic goals. Also, pray for my wife and me as we continue to discern what church God is calling us to join in this season of our lives and the future as I discern my ministry calling. I plan on writing about what we are looking for in a church early in the year to fill you in on what we are thinking and also to encourage you to think about what role the local church plays in your life with God.
This year was also exciting as I had my first publication outside this blog. My Sermon for the Feast of St. Andrew from 2021 appeared in Seasonal Journal. I have another piece lined up to appear in another publication later this year that I will share with you once it releases. I hope to line up more articles for publication as well. I ask your prayers that these pieces will encourage a wider audience in their life with God.
Here at Reimagine Faith, this was a lighter publication year. I already mentioned the series on marriage published this summer. I was also excited to publish a piece explaining the blog's name that I hope sets out the vision for this site in the years to come. The most viewed blog of the year was 10 Favorite Podcasts with 591 views. This was a fun post to write and exciting to see other people discover it!
For 2023, I plan on making this a bi-weekly blog, meaning I will publish a piece every other week. While I would like to publish more often, I think this is a reasonable goal for now for my season of life and will provide a more regular rhythm. It also means 2023 will have more blogs published than 2022. I hope you will join me for what I have planned. I am sure there will be many blogs that come out of my own life with God following Jesus I cannot foresee yet. I also plan on producing two series this year. The first, which I anticipate will be out early in the year, is a 7-part series on the Prayers for Mission found in the Morning and Evening Prayer services from the Book of Common Prayer. This series will explore how those prayers can help form in us an imagination for mission in this world we can act on. I also have a planned series, likely for the fall, looking at four theories of atonement. This series will explore different biblical and theological dimensions of what it meant for Jesus to die on the cross for us. I am looking forward to digging into that series as it has some personal questions for me and my faith right now.
I have two goals for growth at the blog that I ask your help and prayers for. I would love to see more subscribers so more people can get these blogs delivered right to their email as one way they can learn and reflect on their life with God too. If you haven't yet subscribed, please click on this link and share it with others. My second goal is to build the comments section. At the end of each blog, I have started including a comment prompt. I would love to see these posts used to encourage others to talk about the material and how they intersect with all of your journeys following Jesus. So please read those and share your thoughts. I would love to get you all conversing with one another in your diversity to see how God is working in all of our lives.
Thank you all for reading and I hope this can continue to be a helpful resource for you and others as we share life with God and follow Jesus together!
In the comments section, what are you thankful for from this past year and praying for in the new year?