Chattanooga’s Market Street Bridge over the Tennessee RiverBy John Pierce

In some ways, it was a challenging year professionally. But 2010 ended with deep gratitude for those with whom and for whom I work — and with excitement about some grand new possibilities for the New Year. My hopes and expectations for the impact of this unique news journal over the next several months are very high.

Spending most weekends of 2010 in Downtown Chattanooga was a marvelous opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite places. That experience enabled me to reconnect with dear old friends and to meet others who will become dear old friends through the years. And being that close to the ongoing challenges and opportunities of congregational ministry in changing times makes me a better editor.

The Braves made it back to post-season. Attending games with my friend Marshall, as well as with other friends and family, was so much fun. The ballpark is a rare refuge where my mind gets rested and refreshed. Makes me eager for Opening Day.

Our daughters continue to bring great joy to daily living. They make us proud in all that they do. It has been especially fun exploring college options with Meredith. A final decision about where she will spend next year and beyond will be coming soon. As one who could not see beyond local horizons at that age, I am living vicariously through her experience.

And, strikingly, our younger daughter Abigail is growing up way too quickly. Her quick wit and can-do spirit are encouraging and enjoyable to witness. Although I traveled many miles in 2010 and spent more nights than usual under some Marriott sign, home is the best place in the world. Creatively working my schedule to spend time with family remains a priority. And my wife, Teresa, does an incredible job of handling home life as well as her career when I’m gone.

It seems that every challenge that causes doubt or disappointment is met by the encouragement and support of family and faithful friends. I’m grateful for those whose lives intersect with mine professionally and personally, which at times get blurred in a good sense. Perhaps God’s greatest gift is the assurance that we are never left alone.

Peace, joy and hope for the New Year.



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