By Martha Williams

It was called the Watchnight service. As kids, we all looked forward to it, because it was the only night we were actually allowed to stay up past bedtime. Most of the churches had them.

It was a night of fellowship, song and worship ending with praying in the New Year.

You don’t see it so much any more as such services seem to be falling by the wayside because folks are so busy, and it just doesn’t seem to be as important as Christmas or Easter.

But here we are, almost to New Year’s Eve.

It’s the time when we look back at the previous year, adding up our misadventures and making resolutions to not repeat them. Resolutions that fall by the wayside very quickly in many instances.

I don’t know how many times I swore off smoking until I finally did quit in 1991. Or to take off the pounds I gained as a result of quitting. And those are probably two of the most commonly made promises.

I think one of the best ones we can make is to be more understanding of others and to follow that old Golden Rule. Unless you’ve been through some pretty miserable times yourself, it is pretty hard for some folks to understand the pain others are going through. So this year, let’s plan to be kinder to each other and see if in doing so we can improve our little corner of the world just a little bit.

Many of us have family in the military and we have no idea how things will be shaping up. My grandson is soon headed for South Korea – unnerving for us but perhaps better than Afghanistan. The one thing we can do for all of them is to pray for their safety.

I am aware of only one New Year’s Eve service and that is at New Life Community Church. It will begin with a movie at 8 p.m., games and activities and before going to prayer, we will sing those wonderful Christmas carols just once more before tucking them away until next year. As in the old days, we will bring the New Year in with prayer.

If you care to join in, bring a snack item to share, enjoy the fellowship and pray for a safe new year.

Additionally, Jan. 5 will be Game Night at New Life. Bring a snack and your favorite game. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

To all of you, we wish a safe and very Happy New Year.

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email