My meeting has a tradition of holding worship on New Year's Eve. Given the date, worship revolves around the events of the previous months and hopes for the year ahead. For myself, being Christocentric with a strong connection to nature, my meditation inevitably brings images of darkness turning towards the Light.

2009 was a year of changes, not all of them welcome.

I made a trip back east to see my father. Alzheimer's had so thoroughly robbed his face of expression, that I had difficulty recognizing him. I spent hours by his side, reading the Bible to a man who was once one of the few layman (at that time is was definitely layMAN) on the board of theology and church relations for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. At my final visit, he said his only clear words to me, "I love you, too." It was an echo from the soul trapped within.

He died the beginning of September. My brother gave me the news. As he breathed his last, the nurse opened the window of his room.

Later that same month, a beloved F/friend died. Although I'd sat across the meeting room from him, knowing that his time with us was limited, his death was still a shock.

At the same time, I've been feeling a growing need to deepen my relationship with the Divine. Meeting has been deeper; I am given more messages, some that are shared. I am actively developing a daily practice. There is strong sense that this is preparation for something, but I am clueless as to where it will end.

May the coming year make use of my voice and gifts for my community.

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