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Something to Think About: A Fresh Start!

Op-ed By Rev. Michael Vaughn

Rev. Michael Vaughn, Sr. Pastor, New Wineskin Church

We have now embarked on not just a new year but a new decade!  There are many things that we can look back on from 2019 and make the decision that we are going forward with a fresh start in 2020.  We had one of the best years ever from a stock market perspective (regardless of what one may think of President Trump, the facts are the facts).  African-American unemployment is at the lowest level that it has ever been and our economy is moving forward a great pace.  Unfortunately, our nation is as divided as it has ever been and there doesn’t seem to be any hope, naturally, of pulling it together.  The media is as partisan as ever and without getting too political, the democratic candidates for President have lost their minds in the support of socialist agendas and the furtherance of killing the most innocent among us through the murderous act of abortion.  Our state is continuing to vie for being the most liberal state in the union by offering free college to illegal immigrants, abortion through the third trimester of pregnancy, giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, releasing convicted criminals before their sentences are completed, etc.  Our school district has been dealing with a huge budget shortfall that stemmed from some serious financial mismanagement!

Whew, that’s a lot!  And I barely skimmed the surface.  However, you’d expect that there’d be a lot going in a year’s time.  2020 aims to not disappoint.  We have president that has been impeached by an extremely partisan group of people, who will now be tried by another group of partisan people.  Most likely he will be acquitted so the question is, was it all worth it?  We have a presidential election that will take place and I am sure that it will be very dramatic as the year unfolds.  The democrats will pick their nominee and then the race will be on and it most likely is going to be one for the ages.  Here locally we will have a democrat that will be the County Executive of Monroe County.  Something that hasn’t happened for 30 years!  He will be working with a Republican majority that is use to getting whatever they want.  Therefore, there is sure to be some very interesting debates that will take place this upcoming year in the county legislature.  The Rochester City School District will need to resolve its financial crisis while still being about the business of educating the children of Rochester.

With the many things that I have mentioned as a people we can decide to continue down a path for more division, continued stalemate, pointing fingers and blaming, etc., or we can decide that we are going to take a fresh start.  The great thing about a new year is that it gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we have been through, those that started with us at the beginning of the year but didn’t make it (enabling us to realize that life is fragile and we will all have to pass through death at some point, helping to see where our priorities really are), make declarations about what we plan to do in the future. etc.  We get a chance to reset and begin again.  We are the sum total of the choices that we have made and because of that, if we make different choices, we can see different results.  However, it takes resolve and will to change in order to see the different results.  I say let’s give it a try, let resolve to be better than we were in 2019 and continue moving forward to leave not just a legacy but a positive impact on our society through our lives.  This year we not only get the fresh start on a new year but a new decade.  That alone is worth some extra effort!

All of these things will surely make for a suspenseful 2020 and your loveable community pastor will be right here faithful monitoring what is going on so that I can be sure to continue to give you “Something to Think About”.  Happy New Year!

Rev. Michael Vaughn currently serves as senior pastor at New Wineskin Church in Rochester. Contact him at

(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)