Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,
 
Happy New Year! As we head into 2023, what are you looking forward to? What do you anticipate changing in the year to come? Ephesians 5:15–16 gives us a good reminder as we head to the holiday. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
 
How will you walk wisely in 2023 and make the most of your time? The start of the year is the time we often review the past and set some goals for the coming year, and I believe that our spiritual goals are essential to our spiritual growth and escaping temptation. There is no doubt that we need the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts, but people will know us by our actions, and our actions have a way of shaping us.
 
What are the habits that are most formative, spiritually speaking? Will you make your relationships a key. As you look forward to 2023, your most important spiritual habits should help you build your relationship with God. When we do this, we remember that Bible reading is not just scanning a book, prayer is not just meditation, and Lord's Day worship is not just getting out and about. Each of these habits help us in our relationship with our personal God. 
 
Another set of habits relate to the friendships we choose. They will shape us significantly as well. Are we spending time with people who will help us focus our life on God and His purposes for us? Our Care Groups, Sunday School classes, youth groups, and children's ministries are not just simple Bible Studies, they are life-shaping relationship opportunities that can spur us on.
 
As we start 2023, may I encourage you to choose key spiritual habits that deepen your walk with God. To help with this at home, I have put together a 2023 Family Worship Guide with daily Bible reading, memory verses and monthly hymns. Pick one up in the foyer this Sunday. Choose friendships that will spur you on. Join a Care Group, find a place to serve, and jump into our men's and women's ministries. Again, these are relational lifelines of spiritual growth.
 
If you have any questions about your own spiritual growth, let me know, I'd love to talk with you more about these things. 
 
As a church we also have goals for the new year!. We plan to share them on January 8 on our Focus Day Sunday. At the morning service, we will consider God-centered spiritual goals for 2023 at the morning service. In the evening we will address some key goals as a congregation for the year. I hope you can join us for both those services. 
 
Of course, one of our biggest goals for 2023 will be the completion of the balcony project to add 147 seats to the sanctuary. We have already gotten a capital campaign going and you will hear more about this in the next few weeks. We hope to have the capital campaign finished in February and construction started in April. Please keep this in prayer.
 
Speaking about prayer, would you join us for prayer on January 4 in Room 100? That day is a day of prayer and fasting for our leaders and staff, and we invite you to join us in fasting, and for a round of prayer from 6 PM to 8 PM that day. Prayer is the most important way to start the year. It helps us see our utter dependence on God and need of His mercy and kindness for the year to come.
 
There are other things happening this month. Please take some time to look through this newsletter and the upcoming bulletin to find out what is happening. 
 
Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean