Happy New Year!

written on 04 January 2021 by Indy Hollway & Erin Iwata

Art by Nat Iwata

Indy: We did it! We made it to 2021! Happy New Year!

Erin: 2020 was formative...and terrible.

Indy: Yes, but it wasn’t all bad… at least we learned a lot!

Erin: True. This year was transformational to my thinking. Being isolated, then addressing racism, and seeing how churches around the world reacted...it was a game-changer.

Indy: Yep. I think we both were aware of the problem, but 2020 pushed us from awareness to anger to action. We just couldn’t be quiet about it anymore.

Erin: We couldn’t be quiet about how we believe the Kingdom of God is open to everyone, or that Jesus is open to everyone. I also felt like I had so much to learn. My desire to hear from others and be transformed by them, that multiplied in my heart this year.

Indy: Totally agree! That’s how all this started: a desire to listen to others, a belief that Jesus’ followers can grow into being a community where everyone is welcome, a community that looks more like the love Jesus demonstrated.

Erin: A belief we can grow and change. We don’t want to be stagnant, we want to wake up each day and say “What now?” we need to hear from people whose experiences are NOT like our own, to be more empathetic, more compassionate, more peaceful, more patient, more kind, full of more goodness.

Indy: Effectively, to be more than the bare minimum. Opening the doors for more people. Because we believe everyone belongs.

Erin: YES! So...What now?

Indy: We have a new series starting this Friday by Bible scholar Alicia Hovanas.

Erin: Exciting! This will replace our “Bright Spots” for the month of January.

Indy: Yes, and in February we are launching a series called “Let’s Talk About It” where we will delve into terms and words that need to unpacked a little more. We need help with this so if you are reading this, please consider contributing if you know a lot about a subject you wish other people knew more about! Some things we already have lined up to chat about are toxic positivity, Christianese (and how to avoid it), and we will be looking at the diverse and flexible world of gender. We are always looking for more people to write an article about their personal experiences, in or outside the church. Storytelling is kind of our thing.

Erin: Absolutely. We have some other things up our sleeve. We are planning our first web conference this summer. I’m really excited about this one. As well as that, Boriana has some amazing video ideas she is working on, and we are dreaming about a podcast. If you are keen to get involved but don’t feel ready to share your story, please still reach out! We are also looking for videographers, podcasters, artists, and creatives of all kinds! The idea of hearing people’s voices as they share their stories is very moving. I hope all these things open doors for us all to grow. 2021 is looking like it could be a very exciting year.

Indy: I hope so!