As 2022 nears its close and 2023 is on the horizon, I must acknowledge that the last year has been a mixed bag of ups and downs… but then again, every year seems to be like that. My first grandchild was born, my mom struggled with grief, I wrestled with depression, and my professional vocation provides the day-to-day privilege of serving others.

In the midst of this mixed bag, I’m reminded of the need to slow down and breathe and reflect, to refill the reservoir of my spirit, to rest in this season surrounded by a variety of cultural and religious observances that all celebrate similar themes: hope, light, miracles and love.

From the tradition I grew up in, my thoughts keep running toward words a mentor and friend shared many years ago, “Remember to pause often and long before the manger.”

I know not everyone who reads those words celebrates Christmas, but I think everyone who reads them can understand their meaning. I also hope everyone who reads them can discover a path within your personal tradition to pause often and long so you can breathe, reflect and refill.

Happy Holidays and New Year!

In Your Service, John Van Cleef, Chief Executive Officer