Dear Friends,

There are all sorts of reasons we set out on the road.

It may be a choice we make, an inward call that comes to us, prompting us to set out on a journey, take a new direction, switch course.

It may be a star in the sky that beckons to us—as in the story of ancient travelers scanning the skies and finding a new star that surprised them. An inspiration which calls us to take to the road.

Sometimes, we are dragged forth, kicking and screaming, the way Toni Morrison describes she was dragged when she had the first inkling of a new book waiting inside her to be born. She didn’t want to write Beloved, didn’t want to enter the painful territory of slavery in the United States. But it was almost as if she had no choice.

C.S. Lewis describes a similar experience when he recounts his conversion from atheist to Christian, describing a reluctance so powerful that “being dragged kicking and screaming” would just about cover it.

There are all sorts of reasons we set out on the road. It takes courage to follow an inward call, welcome or not. It takes vision to find a new star, or idea, or life direction, where none has been before.

Thankfully, we acknowledge that we do not travel alone. We walk with one another, with the spirit of those who have come before us in this place, and with a Spirit of Love or Presence that some name as God and others choose to give no name, bowing in silence to the mystery of the ineffable.

Wherever Life finds you, as we walk into the new year together, I am grateful to have your company for this stretch of the pilgrim road we walk together.In faith,

Jenny Rankin

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