Rev.  Jan Bihl
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Normally on January 1st, Gerhard and I would be at Rivendell Retreat Center on Bowen Island. After a New Year’s Eve time of reflection with all the retreatants, led by a couple of the Rivendell Watchkeepers, we would be reflecting on the previous year, each in our own way. Gerhard would be tending the fire and writing at the desk in the Hawthorne Room. I would be in the Grandview Room, at a large table by the window, with my coloured pencils, sketching paper, and journals spread out for a few hours of leisurely reflection, working with colour, and intermittent walks. Ahh…such a gift.

Like so many things in 2020, our trip to Rivendell did not happen. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do the same kind of reflection on January 1st…which I am doing today. To prepare, I began thinking about this reflection in the past few days and wondered where to start and what reflection prompts would point me to how the Holy Spirit has been at work in the midst of it all. What has been the work of soul in this time?

I invite you to join me in reflecting on 2020… But where to start?

Someone sent me a Christmas letter in which she named no less that 15 events/activities that had been cancelled/lost in 2020 due to COVID-19 – all involving in-person connection with others: family/friend visits, worship/singing together, meetings, conferences, concerts, theatre, travel…the list goes on. I can only imagine the impact that the loss of a loved one would have in this time. So maybe naming our losses and where is an appropriate place to start…but let’s not end it there.

Here are some prompts to consider when you consider 2020 along with others that the Holy Spirit brings to mind and heart.

What was cancelled/changed in my world in 2020?

  • How did that impact me? What have I learned/how have I changed as a result?

What am I proud of and grateful for having been, done or accomplished in 2020?

In what ways have I experienced God’s presence this past year?

What else wants to be named from 2020?

What would I like to imagine saying at the end of 2021 that I am proud of and grateful for having been/done/accomplished?

What else wants to be said about 2021?

Blessings on this journey in faith!

Rev. Jan