Let’s Get Ready to PARTY!!! Ok, maybe that is a little bit strong … Let’s get ready to RECEPTION!!! That’s right we are going to have a simple reception right after church this Sunday in honor of Jim and Ann Callahan celebrating their 70th Anniversary. Can you believe it … 70 years … together … and they still Love and Honor each other. So, instead of doing our usual fifth Sunday meal. (Which lets face it how many of us really wanted to do that on New Years Day?) We will have a simple reception for the Callahan’s.
What else is this week? This Sunday is the Sunday of Peace. Which means that we read the liturgy of lighting the Advent Candle Wreath and we pray for Peace.
But read these words form our Bishop:
A letter was sent to clergy and congregations from the office of Diversity, Missions and Justice Ministries inviting churches to stand in solidarity with Christians in Bethlehem. Lights that are normally lit in the birthplace of Jesus will remain unlit this year in memory of those who have been killed in their current conflict. This was conveyed by the Methodist office in Jerusalem via the General Board of Global Ministries.
The invitation specifically asked churches not to light the second advent candle that is often referred to as the Bethlehem Candle. It is important to remember that there are Christians in Bethlehem today. The deaths of innocent Israelis, Palestinians, and others have brought painful disruption in the land we call holy. We are called to be ambassadors of hope and messengers of peace as we prepare to celebrate the One who is the Prince of Peace.
As your bishop, I would invite you to light every candle on the wreath and consider lighting more candles as you lift prayers for people and areas where peace has been disrupted all over the world. In our home this year, we will light more candles rather than fewer because there are so many places that the light of peace is needed.
To quote one of our pastors, “The world and the Church need more light, not less.” We need more light and peace in Indiana and in every corner of the world.
“A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:6 (CEB)
Be encouraged as we pray for peace and commit to the work of peacemaking.
Julius C. Trimble
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church