I've seen some people posting on social media that they are choosing a word to represent their goals for the new year. In fact, only a couple of years ago, I did this and wrote about it on this blog, here. This year, I've been seeing posts from friends who simply list a few goals for the year. Rather than "resolutions," these are quantifiable goals with specific timelines or generalized ideas that encompass the vision of the person making them.
This year I decided to do two different things. At the request of a friend, I decided to join a small accountability group where we check in regarding our current life goals. With this group, I formulated a small list of quantifiable goals. These include being more intentional about making St. Brigid in the Desert UAIC an active, functional spiritual community, which I have identified as a "Church Without Walls," or "Church Without a Home;" having one St. Brigid event per month which is free and open to the public; and keeping up with the blogs and the newsletter on a regular basis.
On the other side of my list is being more consistent with my writing. Just having this much delineated gave these goals substance. They aren't just "something I want to do." They are something I WILL do. Pastoring a church is a real job, whether one is paid for pastoring or whether one is a bi-vocational pastor, as I am. In fact, these "nonpaid" priestly duties are more important than weddings and other rites of passage that I might be paid for, because these are the foundation of the church, the real purpose for its existence. The gatherings and social media content are where the real work of ministry gets done.
I've long been a fan of vision boards. Now, these are simply poster board with magazine pictures cut out and glued onto them in a sort of collage. What makes it a "vision" board is the intent behind the creation. My early vision boards were usually pictures of things I wanted to obtain or attain in the near future. This year, I chose to create a vision board specifically for what I wanted my 2018 to be like.
As the Spiritual Director for St. Brigid in the Desert UAIC, I thought that a Mini-Vision Board Workshop would be the perfect event to kick off the new year. Not only would it provide an excellent fellowship gathering, but it would also provide an opportunity for those who attend to work on their personal goals for the year. This was where I could pull together the dreams I have for my personal spiritual work. The gathering was a success. I enjoyed providing a short guided meditation to bring everyone to their vision board. Around the table, conversation helped build friendships and imagination brought together some beautiful collages.
As for myself, I haven't quite finished the board. I created an eye and spirit pleasing board with quite a bit of white space. I think of it as "breathing room." It's appropriate, for the vision I am revealing on my board is that of a peaceful, uncluttered spirit. I have some busy-goals for my ministry and an active day job. The vision board goals are intended to offset this "busy-ness."
In the end, I guess I chose a word for the year, after all!