A New Year’s Day message: what some preachers are planning to say

Stuck for a homily idea?  Check out this interesting overview, from a variety of faiths in Indiana, here:

Pastors will have similar new Yyear themes in their Sunday sermons. A fresh start, personal reflection and improving one’s relationship with God are just a few sermon topics.

The Rev. James Foster, pastor, will preach about “a new season” to about 120 people at Word of Life Fellowship Church in Lafayette.

“With a new season, it is an opportunity to make things better,” Foster said. “There are opportunities for families who can look back to see things didn’t go too well.

“We have an opportunity to be better husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.”

The new year also is a time to improve as an individual and as a church family, Foster said. There are many “what else” opportunities.

“Don’t focus on failures but on the opportunities to make things better in your life through God,” he said. “As a church family, if we don’t feel like we’ve been as good to the community as we need to be, we must look at it and be better.”

Another key point of Foster’s sermon will be “forgive yourself.”

“People are so hard on themselves. The church is there to help them,” he said.

In Benton County, the Rev. Bob Klemme pastors two Catholic churches — St. Patrick in Fowler and St. Charles in Otterbein. The combined membership is about 1,000 people.

“I hope the parishioners gain a greater sense of consciousness of God in their lives,” he said of the new year. “Your thoughts, words and deeds will reflect that consciousness in your daily lives.”

The priest said his sermon will celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God — a liturgical feast that honors Mary on Jan. 1.

He will emphasize the Gospel passage from Luke 2:19 — “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

“My homily will be based on her life and how it reflects on our lives,” Klemme said.

“My question for parishioners will be, ‘How have we pondered what we have learned from our faith and our lives? How do we give thanksgiving and praise to God?’ ”

The Rev. Thom Redmond, assistant pastor, said his sermon title will be “First Things First” at Crestview United Brethren in Christ Church in Lafayette. He will preach to a total of nearly 200 people at two services.

He said he will urge worshippers to seek God through prayer, worship with others on the first day of the week, tithe in the first month and fast on the first of the new year.

“These are what I consider the essential tools to grow spiritually,” Redmond said. “If you want to have a better year, try these things.”

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