Rev. Annette (Andi) Wolf has been Pastor of Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Oshkosh since February 2010. Prior to coming to Emmanuel, she served a lengthy pastorate in Louisville, KY. Originally from Pittsville, Wisconsin, Andi holds a Bachelor Degree from Lakeland College in Sheboygan and a Master of Divinity Degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO.
Andi is passionate about preaching and teaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. She strives to show how both the church and scripture continue to be relevant for today’s world. Her sermons mix scripture with everyday life, personal stories and (hopefully) a bit of humor.
Andi has three children; Zach, Becca and Hannah. In her limited free time, Andi enjoys reading, sports and traveling.
Contact Pastor Andi at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Words from Pastor Andi
2020 is almost over, and what a year it has been. I could go on to list the many challenges we faced--as individuals, as a church, as a nation and as a global community. Some challenges will continue well into 2021. We all understand that with the turning of the calendar from one year to another that everything does not change. Life feels about the same on January 1 as it did on December 31. So—what’s the big deal?
The changing of the year brings a sense of newness. I firmly believe attitude is an important part of our success and happiness. The New Year brings new possibilities. Yes, those possibilities were available in 2020, just as readily as in 2021—but maybe we weren’t ready for them. The New Year opens the door to choosing to do or be something new.
The New Year texts include a reading from Revelation that talks about a new heaven and a new earth that the returning messiah will bring. “See, I am making all things new” the Messiah proclaims. Newness is big. The old has passed away and in Christ we become new creations; this we know. We love the idea of being reborn in Christ and being labeled a new creation. What no one ever told us was that it was the letting go of the old that poses such a challenge.
Coupled with this Revelation text is the familiar Ecclesiastes reading about there being a season for everything and a time for every matter under heaven. How important it is to understand when it is ‘the right time.’ Not knowing when, exactly, the situation calls us to laugh or embrace or throw away or speak or keep quiet can cause anything from mild embarrassment to big life problems. Making sure you do the right thing at the right time is crucial. We know this, but sometimes it can be hard to know when that right time is right now.
The New Year brings a tangible starting point for all sorts of change. It isn’t so much about the changes around us as it is about the changes within us. Change is a strange dance of one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward (cha-cha-cha) that can be quite the challenge. 2020 was a year of change—many that were thrust upon us. But it was also a year of great blessings and a new way of doing many of our old familiar activities. 2021 will most certainly be better, except for the times it is not. And we will find ourselves again dancing one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward (cha-cha-cha). And it will be awesome and frustrating and challenging and rewarding and I can’t wait to see where it takes us. Things will be different, and yet still very much the same.
Unlike the year before us, we aren’t made new by the turning of a calendar page we are made new by the one who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Change isn’t just happening in us we are the change this world so desperately needs! Bring it 2021 the church is ready.