Memories of New Years Past

2 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I guess I am just like most people when it comes to New Years – “I AM going to lose those _____ pounds this year!”  “I AM going to get the house in order!”  “I AM going to scan all those pictures and get them in an album!”  etc., etc., etc.

So, resolutions not-with-standing, what are my memories of New Years past?  I guess my favorite memory is of growing up in my church in Albuquerque.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque

For many years, on New Year’s Eve, the church would have a program that started about 6:00 p.m. with a dinner.  Now, this was a fairly large church, and we had a paid staff who made the meals every Wednesday evening, before the regular activities began.  And those ladies made the BEST dinner rolls!!!  Nothing I’ve ever been able to duplicate!

Anyway, dinner started at 6:00 p.m.  After that, I remember either a movie shown on a large screen in the sanctuary, or games.  Perhaps there were games for the smaller children – I just don’t remember.  But then there was a time of “remembrance” or sharing.  Just being thankful for the year that was passing away, and looking forward to the new one approaching.

But the best thing about the entire evening, was that, after the sharing time, we would – literally – ring the outer edges inside the sanctuary, holding hands to make a funny-shaped circle, and pray in the New Year.  We could hear the fireworks going off, and people yelling outside the church building.  But inside, we were asking God to bless the New Year, and us in it, and our part of it.  It was an extremely wonderful time.

And then I remember some New Year’s Eve’s in our small church in Virginia.

Seaford Baptist Church, Seaford, Virginia Oldest buildings

We would gather for a time of sharing and remembrance, then share the Lord’s Supper together, and then pray in the New Year.  I do remember one year that Karen and Brian married (on December 30).  As we were sharing thoughts, I shared that I would have to learn to keep my mouth shut and be a good mother-in-law!  The pastor would try to do the Lord’s Supper differently some times, to make it more meaningful for us.

I remember a time when he had a loaf of bread, and we pinched off our own little piece.  I also remember a time when there was a community cup for each family to share the “wine” (grape juice in the Baptist church!).  

But in all the memories I have, it always culminated with prayer for the New Year.  And I can’t think of a better way to start any New Year, than asking God’s blessings upon it.

May YOUR New Year be blessed beyond measure.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 15:13

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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