Horizons: January/February 2021

<i>Horizons</i>: January/February 2021

January/February 2021
Facing Uncertainty as People of Faith

When the Horizons Editorial Committee met in March 2020, we weren’t certain of much. It was the second week that most of the U.S. was taking precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. As a country, we were trying to understand who was an “essential worker,” how to rearrange our lives and days to stay safe, and wondering if it might be as much as three months before we could resume with life as we knew it. As a committee, we were trying to predict what ideas would feel relevant almost a year in the future. With all these questions swirling, the committee thought that a January/February 2021 exploration of how we had dealt with so much unknown would be heartening. Surely we’d be speaking in the past tense and with the gift of hindsight by that point!

Spoiler—we’re not speaking in past tense yet. And you’ve probably seen or heard someone reference how the expression “hindsight is 2020” must be an ironic message from a time traveler.

Although not a welcome lesson, the last year has given us the opportunity to, at least, accept how much we don’t know. We’ve learned how to keep moving forward and (re)learned what gives us strength. As people of faith, our strength is from God, Emmanuel, who is always with us, always listening to our prayers—our prayers for healing, relief, justice, reform, wisdom and strength. Or in the words of Isaiah, “do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (49:10).

While we aren’t yet speaking in the past tense, the contributors to this issue offer insights they have gained about living in uncertain times. You’ll hear from people who created or adapted ministries to meet needs in physically distant ways. You’ll hear from individuals whose passion for justice and wholeness was ignited by uncertain times. You’ll see the amazing projects chosen for the 2021 Birthday Offering and the creative determination of the recipients. You’ll find ideas, inspiration and tools for living faithfully.

Most importantly, the writers and artists in this issue show that even when the way forward is unclear, even when we feel the most unprepared, we are never alone. God watches over us and has put us in community. And building community, which is one of commitments in our PW Purpose, is the focus of a new department by Micah Rose Emerson! She’ll be exploring the power of community and ways we can orient ourselves toward a life rich in relationships with all of God’s people. Or in additional words from Isaiah, living where “Each one helps the other, saying to one another ‘Take courage!” (41:6).

In the following pages and in the following year, we pray you take courage, knowing you are a beloved part of the community of Presbyterian Women and of God’s good creation


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Finding the Heart of Our Resilience in Trying Times
Anna Kendig reframes resilience as a spiritual skill that can be developed, rather than simply practicing habits of self-care. She offers ways to cultivate resilience to help readers create a life that honors embodiment, rituals and community

Learning Our Way Forward: Worship and Ministries in a Time of Change
Rosalyn McKeown-Ice describes how her church family at Frist Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has adapted their worship and ministries to ensure safety and care for those in their community. 

Understanding and Justice
Jeanne S. Simpson explores how the story of Job connects to racism and discrimination today, and the significant role the church has in dismantling white supremacy and rebuilding a more just world.

An Invitation
Lisa Gray describes how Presbyterian Women in the Synod of the Northeast adapted to change and have found support and inspiration holding Bible study on Zoom meetings—and invite you to join!

PW Resources

Anna H. Bedford Bible Study Resource
Joyce MacKichan Walker offers insights and questions for use in studying Lessons Seven and Eight of the 2020–2021 PW/Horizons Bible study, Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament by P. Lynn Miller.

2021 Birthday Offering Dedication Service

2021 Birthday Offering Recipient List

2020 Horizons Index


Take Courage 
Cecilia Amorocho Hickerson

Unpacking the Theme: Scripture Study
Finding God in the Uncertainty 
Cheri Harper

Pages Worth Turning

Building Inclusive Community
Small Shifts
Micah Rose Emerson

After the Offering
Nourishing God’s People
Karen H. Webster

What One PW Is Doing
Zooming to a New Model
Kelly Weirich

Stories from the Ages
Voices of Our Church’s Leaders
Hillary Moses Mohaupt

Working for Justice and Peace
The Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women During COVID-19
Kathleen Keefer

News and Information about Presbyterian Women and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

What One PW Is Doing
Fellowship Cookie Ministry
Gail Heimbuck

Faithful Parenting
The Intersection of the Known and the Unknown
Amy Starr Redwine

Stories from the Ages
Living into Hope
Hillary Moses Mohaupt

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