Hopefully, this edition of El Puente finds you warmly snuggled in your home, having enjoyed a nice Christmas and looking forward to a rewarding new year.

This is a time of year when we are most likely to count our tender mercies. We are grateful for nice houses, jobs we enjoy, health, and plenty of food to eat. We have material blessing to last a lifetime. We appreciate family and friends we can love, and who love us unconditionally. We rejoice in a faith in our Creator and Redeemer who sustains us always. It would be wasteful to want more than we already have.

Don’t we wish this for everyone!

Of course, we know that this is not reality. Some of our neighbors are not rejoicing this season. While the majority of Goshen’s residents may fit the happy profile above, others struggle with layoffs, unmanageable housing, utility, or medical bills that can’t be paid due to low wage jobs or layoffs, homelessness, failed relationships, or other crises.

While the previous sentence is depressing, the purpose of my letter is not to beat the holiday spirit out of you. Rather, it is to help us all recognize and appreciate what a wonderful community we share╔one where the struggles of our fellow residents do not go unnoticed. Ours is a community where there is a multitude of caring individuals, aware of weaknesses in the social fabric that binds us all together and anxious to do whatever they can to strengthen it. Working individually and as members of organizations, the amount of good that people are doing is astronomical. At the same time people are counting their own tender mercies, they themselves are merciful.

In closing, please join me in a community prayer.

“For the blessings you have bestowed upon our community╔for all the days past and for those yet to come╔for the joys and sorrows that bind us ever closer╔for the trials we have overcome and the successes we have experienced╔for teaching us that as individuals we cannot do great things, but can do small things with great love╔and together, we can do great things with great love╔we are thankful. Amen.”

Best wishes to you and your family.

Allan Kauffman, Mayor of Goshen