Local clergy say make a new start in the new year

MANATEE -- A new year comes with a clean slate.

New memories to create, fresh starts and in some cases letting go of the small things from the past year.

For Rabbi Mendy Bukiet of Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, his message for the new year is simple: look to make it a great year.

“It’s a time for resolution and taking upon ourselves for a new beginning and a great opportunity to look at 2011 and see where we can grow and how we can make 2012 a more memorable and greater year,” Bukiet said.

At My Father’s House Church in Ellenton The Rev. Anne Barber said the message will be centered around forgiveness.

“It will have to do with forgiveness and getting rid of the things from the past that are stopping us from moving forward,” she said.

As a way to leave the past behind there will be an outdoor ceremony at the end of the 10:30 a.m. service, weather permitting.

“We will burn pieces of paper listing all the things we don’t want to carry into the new year,” Barber said.

The church has done a similar ceremony in the past and Barber describes it as being “very powerful.”

Over at Braden River Presbyterian Church one of the messages will be “moving forward.”

“Move forward and trust God,” said The Rev. Glenn Buzbee about his Jan. 1 service theme. “One of the passages I am reading from is Isaiah Chapter 60 verse one and two.”

The passage says: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

The beginning of a new year is a good time to reestablish our sense of worship, Buzbee said.

Pastor Don Sturiano of Kingdom Life Christian Church, whose message for the new year is “Prioritizing His presence,” agrees.

He said some ways of doing that will be giving yourself new moments daily to recognize God’s presence in your life.

“One way is to have alone time with Him,” Sturiano said. “Have time throughout the day set without distractions. Start your day with worship, music or talk to him.”

One way Bukiet is telling people to make 2012 a better year is by doing a good deed.

“One a day is good, but if that’s too much once a week is good,” he said. “The more the better.”