Each January, Chela – one of our awesome Urban Alliance staff members – invites the team to share special words for the coming year. Each of us chooses a word that has personal meaning – defining our expectations and hopes for the coming year, reminding us of one of God’s promises, or encouraging us in some way.  In 2021, as I entered my new role as Executive Director, I chose the word discernment, reflecting my desire to have God give me wisdom for the choices I would be making that year, help in navigating the challenges of the year, and humility as I learned “the things I didn’t know that I didn’t know.”

For 2022, my word is INSPIRE. As we all navigate through the ongoing pandemic, there are so many spiritual, political and personal divisions that only seem to be growing worse.  The steady increase in poverty, hunger, educational inequity and other economic challenges are now rivaled by the growing mental health concerns affecting individuals and families. The need is so great. More inspiration is needed. More of Christ’s love needs to be evidenced through us.

In the coming year, I hope that we can be inspiring, giving inspiration to those around us. Inspiration to rise to the challenges that face us.  Inspiration to want to make a difference.  Inspiration to lift others up. At the same time, I hope that we can all find time to be inspired – to receive inspiration from others. Sometimes, we are the ones that need the wind in our sails.

And I am confident that UA will continue its work of inspiring and assisting others in their good work. The UA network continues to serve our communities and meet needs. Our network partners affirm that God truly loves people and cares for their needs, by providing the practical services and resources to those in need of help.

I hope that these efforts will continue to bear fruit. I hope that you will be inspired to join in support of the work. I hope that we can inspire and be inspired together. Blessings to each of you as we look forward to the new opportunities that 2022 will provide.