What’s Your Word for 2011?

I’ve been doing some dreaming and planning for 2011. Last Tuesday was “think day” for church stuff: worship planning, goals, etc. Wednesday was focused on personal life and writing. I do like the reset of a new year to refocus. The fact that the new year coincides with my birthday only reinforces the power of that. I don’t make resolutions, because those seem too rigid. I do set intentions, however. (Heck, I do that monthly, a la Happiness Project.)

One word kept coming up as I thought about 2011, and the word is “rootedness.” With such a busy life and so many demands on my time and energy, staying grounded is an ongoing challenge. It is easy to be “blown about by every wind of doctrine.” Or if not doctrine, then Internet kerfuffles, random anxieties and the crisis du jour.

My personal hopes for 2011 all grew out of that word:

  • rooted in the physical world (more walks outside, regular excursions to hike or explore)
  • rooted in deep relationships (I’m intending to write actual letters this year, and to have more phone conversations, and do less relationships-via-Facebook)
  • rooted in creativity (schedule regular “spirit days,” write the durn book).

I’ve also been playing the word game with the church. The church I used to serve would give out paper stars at Epiphany. Each had a word on it that was the person’s “prayer word” for the year. The words were all over the map: wisdom, peace, harmony.

The idea comes from a friend of mine, Margee Iddings, who recently shared the whole concept, which I love. The pastor thinks about the upcoming year: what the church will be facing, upcoming challenges and such. What virtues or attributes will be needed to face these challenges? Put those words on stars, and have people choose them at random. Then people are invited to find other people who share their word and talk briefly about what that word means to them and other brief questions.

It is often the case that people receive the word they need.

Next year, our congregation will be going through the presbytery’s “transforming congregations” project, making some decisions about what to do with our manse, and thinking about how to increase our connection to the larger community. Here are the words I chose:

  • trust
  • courage
  • compassion
  • risk
  • radiance
  • faith
  • attentiveness
  • joy

What would your word be for 2011?

Image: Epiphany Stars

7 thoughts on “What’s Your Word for 2011?

  1. Sarah

    Afghanistan (Peter will be there, starting next week)

    These are the first words that came to mind when I read your post – and I’ve been thinking along these lines a good bit of the day.

    Happy New Year, MAMD!

  2. Andy Acton

    transformation would be my word. That’s what immediately pops to mind. Not sure why but I’ll have a new year to figure it out.

    I didn’t know you were a Jan 1 baby, me too! 🙂

  3. janewilk

    Love this idea. One church my friend serves as pastor ices their Epiphany words onto cookies so that people can actually “take in” their word for the year by eating it!

  4. Elizabeth

    Words for my church this year:
    * hope
    * trust
    * risk
    * renew
    * illuminate
    * gratitude
    * growth
    * generosity
    * community
    * courage

    Thanks for the great idea! I am cutting out stars this afternoon. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Eight Ways to Make New Year’s Resolutions Stick | MaryAnn McKibben Dana

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