2024 is here!

With a new year ahead of us, we have plenty of new opportunities to make the most of our precious time. Of course, a lot of things may hold us back like a busy work agenda and the uncertainties about where the world is going because of wars and political unrest. We also worry about things like climate change or the cost of living, but has any other year been any different?

In the end, it is up to us to decide what our priorities are and how we use our time and talents. We can easily be thrown off balance by somber thinking and all the negativity in the news, but we can also turn our eyes to all the good things and blessings that happen in the world. The more positive our own attitude towards life is, the better we can deal with whatever life throws back at us.

Creating some time for personal well-being and reflection and giving thanks to people or initiatives that make us happy, gives a great return. I wish that for this new year, we may all find the time to count our blessings and strengthen them.

In January, our parish joins the Dutch National “Kerkbalans” Campaign. For the 50th time, this campaign is launched in all the Christian churches around The Netherlands. It is an annual fundraiser to support the ordinary running costs of our parish. Monthly costs like salaries, maintenance, insurance, groceries, energy etc. are paid out of collections and monthly donations. Visit our Kerkbalans page for more information.

Incidentally, Lent starts very early this year. Ash Wednesday coincides with Valentine’s Day.

Our Lenten Campaign 2024 will not be about money but will be a campaign to interest new volunteers in keeping our parish groups alive. Around 60 groups and events are currently active in our community. They provide services for the preparation and celebration of the sacraments, social events, outreach to refugees and the homeless, and a lot of other circles that meet on a regular basis.

A lot of these groups have been kept going by very dedicated volunteers for many years. We would like to add new talent and people to groups that need some fresh input. After all, if we do not invest in ourselves, we cannot help others in return.

This means that for the first few months of the year, a lot of emphasis will be placed on building a solid foundation for our future. With your prayers and support we can continue to make a difference to many people’s lives in a positive way.

I’d like to thank our parishioners living in The Netherlands, but also our online community for all the kindness and support that you give to The Church of Our Saviour. The parish is the sum total of what people make it to be. With the Lord always providing in a miraculous way, we can really count our blessings.

I wish you all a very positive 2024.  

Fr. Sjaak