End of Year Reflections and What the Minister is Reading

This has been quite a year for many of us as we individually and collectively emerged out of (or into a new phase) of the Pandemic. There have been stories and events that left us sad and frustrated (like the invasion of Ukraine), and other developments that left us feeling exhilarated and engaged (like NASA’s new Webb Space Telescope, which has been beaming back breathtaking images of the Cosmos and changing our views of ourselves and our world.) Two insights are clear:

1) we are more powerful creatures than we realize, as we live our lives on this small, beautiful planet; and

2) our lives and world are one infinitesimally small drop on the grand canvas of a bewilderingly enormous Creation.

Out of these two realizations can arise considerable wisdom and humility as we head full-speed towards the first quarter of the 21st century.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you a very happy and healthy 2023. I conclude my last column of this year by sharing a few of the items I have been reading and watching of late.

Happy New Year!


What the Minister is Reading (and watching):

From the Webb Telescope Website – “Beneath the night sky in (another) Galaxy.”  It’s not everyday that you can see a photo of one galaxy in the foreground (that is “only” 3 million light-years away) with many more speckled in the background.  This one photo is 1,700 lightyears across!

Looking for Inspiration in the New Year.  I thought this article from the NY Times was quite helpful:  6 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationships in 2023. These gems can help you reinforce bonds with friends, family and romantic partners.

Are you cross country skis collecting dust?  “Boston is Losing Its Snow Wicked Fast – New England is warming more quickly than almost anywhere else on the Earth.”  By Katherine J. Wu in The Atlantic (if you need a PDF of the article, email me.)

Love this video of a performance by the French Artist (and acrobat) Yoann Bourgeois.  You will watch it twice!  Makes me want to buy a trampoline, which is a bad idea!

Here’s a touching and inspiring story about what happened last week when a Korean tourist van got stuck in the blizzard near Buffalo.  Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.  When in doubt, err on the side of humanity, AND keeping red pepper paste in the pantry:

They Traveled From South Korea. They Got Stranded Near Buffalo:  “A South Korean tour group’s van became stuck in the snow outside a house in Williamsville, N.Y. They spent the weekend with the residents — who luckily had a well-stocked kitchen,” NY Times, December 29, 2022.