Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -Philippians 4:8
Allow me to be amongst the first to wish you nothing but good things for the year ahead. As usual, this time of year brings each of us the opportunity to reflect on the ‘goods and the bads’ of the year that was as well as be re-motivated and renewed by the promise of the year ahead.
For myself, two main thoughts keep coming to mind, mainly due to the extreme deep freeze we seem to have entered, as I begin 2018.
- Gratitude. I am so very thankful for the things that I have, and I do not want to ever forget or take them for granted this year. A roof over my head and a warm bed when so many people don’t have those. Friends. A job. Food. Family. Community. The list goes on of the things in my life that I’m grateful for. I want to be more intentional this year about being grateful for what I have.
- Urgency. As I’ve said, it’s really cold right now. And last night around 4500 men, women and children had no home in Toronto. Those folks either needed to stay in a shelter or sleep outside. That is JUST NOT RIGHT.
During this cold snap, I’ve been praying that we don’t hear news of someone who has frozen to death. In 2018, we need to get even louder about housing. There isn’t enough to go around, more needs to be built.
In the meantime, I’m happy that we at THHS have responded as best we can with the resources we have by opening a 24/7 winter drop-in for women in Parkdale. We are also just days away from opening our new 60-bed shelter for men in Leslieville. I love its name; New Hope Leslieville.
New Hope. That’s what we have in 2018.
As a reminder, we have developed and been using the missional ‘year at a glance’ calendar with a different theme to focus on each month for the past 2 years. (If you would like one for your office or for other folks in your office, please let my co-worker Erin know at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will mail it to you.)
In January we focus on The Salvation Army’s mission statement as well as one of our core values; excellence. I will bring more attention to these things in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, with gratitude as well as a sense of urgency, let us continue to strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
Bless you in 2018,
With gratitude, we thank you for the year that was
and with urgency, we pray for the year ahead.
We pray you give us new strength,
And new hope.