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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Resolve to be ‘spiritually awake’ in 2013


Faith-based new year’s resolutions can go beyond promising to go to church more often.

Here are some suggestions from local church leaders about making and keeping spiritual resolutions in 2013.


The Rev. Won Gyu Lee at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church recommends taking more time to be “spiritually awake” every day.

“I want to do this through time set aside every day for personal devotion,” he said.

That daily devotional can take the form of praying, writing in a journal, reading Scripture or simply spending quiet time each day thinking about your spiritual well-being.

Carving out a specific time of day is important or it will be harder to keep, he said.

Lee also advises making the resolution, whatever it may be, very specific, and writing it down to reference later on.


Brian Turner, assistant rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, said that especially for Christians, taking more time to read the Bible is an important resolution to make. He recommends starting with the Psalms.

“There’s a range of emotions everyone can relate to,” Turner said. “They are prayers to God. You can see how people have prayed in the past and get in touch with your own emotions.”


Turner also recommends taking more time each day to pray.

“Just five more minutes each day can be a big change,” he said.

Making a resolution to pray more is the easy part; sticking to it can be harder. One way to keep a resolution to pray more each day is to set aside a specific time for it.

Turner also advised letting other people aid you in keeping a resolution.

“The best way to keep it is to covenant with someone else,” he said. “Work on it together and keep each other accountable.”


Volunteerism is at the heart of most spiritual organizations. For those who want to make a resolution that produces concrete results for others, volunteering or resolving to give more is another vow to consider.

Volunteering also keeps a resolution-maker accountable—to the people needing aid.

To find out how to help in the Fredericksburg area, go to rappa for volunteering opportunities in the area, or find out if your place of worship has opportunities to donate your time or resources.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976