A New Year's Message from the Rev Dr. Walter V. Hillebrand, Rector,

By: kcynar

12/30/17 05:51 PM
Category: General

Regularly attending Sunday Mass is one of the key ingredients to a happy life.


A New Year's Message from the Rev Dr. Walter V. Hillebrand, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Massapequa, NY.

Grace and Peace be with you,

January is an interesting month to say the least. With December 21 being the shortest day of the year, we can already see the days growing longer in January. The added sunlight fills the human body with new energy, with new life if you wish. It is interesting to listen to people speak about how the New Year kindles hope and heightens expectations. Sometimes we look forward to a new year just to leave the old one behind. And sometimes, intentionally or unintentionally, we begin to slow down in the old year and hold off making decisions or applying changes just to wait until the New Year arrives.

The Good News is that we have passed that threshold. We are in the New Year and nothing can hold us back anymore. Right?

My beloved sisters and brothers, life is not what the world imposes on us. Back in time some people decided to invent date and time. These man-made measurements seem to have become a kind of mystical gate that supposedly changes everything when we step through it.

Our feelings do not come from what people have created nor do they come from what people think about or want. We must look into the mirror in the morning and decide that we love ourselves and that we are happy with our lives. If we are doing this already, then there is only one ingredient missing in the formula of a happy life. The ingredient is called relationships. 

We are human beings and we live off relationships, hence, relationships are key for a fulfilled human life. Your church community is filled with support, encouragement, and love. It is the entire Grace family that is walking side by side with you. What could be better than to know that there are like-minded people out there that are looking out for you.

Regularly attending Sunday Mass is one of the key ingredients to a happy life. It is a vital part of keeping us and our relationships nourished. Regularly attending Sunday Mass also is a vital part of keeping our covenant with God, the most important relationship of all. Common prayer, hence the name, The Book of Common Prayer, is the strongest form of prayer. We join in community and pray together with one voice. Thus, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Mt: 18:20) is truly expressed in Sunday Mass or Morning Prayer. This is what God commanded us to do, and it is what is best for our Spirit.

In addition, keeping in tune with God daily and recognizing His hand in our lives is life-giving in itself. Believing in God and having a deep and true relationship with Him is what makes an enormous difference in how we feel about ourselves. Seeing God daily provides a glimpse of what is yet to come. And that truly is exciting!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you!


The Rev. Dr. Walter V. Hillebrand