Beginning a new year brings with it an opportunity to change, to begin again, to recommit to God's way, truth, and life.

For the month of January, the SALT community is going to concentrate time and energy on establishing and deepening daily spiritual practices of prayer, holding silence, listening to God's still small voice, and recommitting our lives to making God more present in this beautiful and broken world.

Here's how we're going to do it:

+ First, we're going to make a vow - not just a vague committment - to spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day in silence and stillness.  We know it's not easy (nothing good is ever easy!), but we're going to try our hardest to carve out daily, undisturbed time connecting to ourselves, our world, and our God.

+ Second, we're going to ask ourselves daily, "How can I be of service today?  Who needs my assistance?  How can I be more loving and compassionate?  How can I foster justice in my daily life and be in solidarity with the poor?  What obstacles get in the way of making the world a better place?"

+ Third, we are going to take time to drink in the beauty of the earth and ask ourselves, "What am I being called to offer in service to God's creation?  If the world is a garden (and it is), and if I am one of the gardeners (and I am), what can I do today to help this garden grow?"

That's it.  Three little things.  15 minutes, and two beautiful lines of questioning and reflection.  That's the recommitment.  Three little candles against the night.
The peace activist A.J. Muste was once asked why he persistently, doggedly held candlelight vigils outside the White House during the Viet Nam war - did he really think his little witness would change the U.S. government?  "Well, no," he replied. "I'm not here to change the world's ways of war overnight.  But in the meantime, I'm here so that the world's ways of war don't change me."

And so it is for us at the beginning of God's new year.


A big thank you to Derek Key for these bright and beautiful sparklers!