Brothers and Sisters,
We, the Officers of our beloved Union, greet you in the Name of our Advent God, the One who was and is and who is to come, the Almighty!
A cursory glance at news headlines throughout this calendar year could cause us to conclude that 2020 has been the year of “bad news.” This is understandably so when viewed against the backdrop of a global pandemic for which we were largely unprepared and which is still resulting in a catastrophic loss of lives. The church was not left unscathed.
As a family, we endured an unprecedented period of restricted gathering for worship. For most of the year, we have had to adjust to declining numbers at corporate worship, even as our at-risk members continue to heed the “stay at home” advisory. We have also had to adapt to the “new normal” for in-person encounters, which require the observance of public health protocols, and thankfully, we have been doing well.
Amidst all these things, the message of Advent reminds us that God is still sovereign and that God is at work restoring the created order. This is the essence of Paul’s reminder to the church at Corinth: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19)
Blessed as we are with this ministry of reconciliation, we remain undaunted and choose rather to hear again the angels’ message “fear not.” The essential truth of Advent is that amidst the “bad news,” there is unconquerable “good news;” God is with us!
Consequently, we press on in unrelenting hope. Responding to God’s invitation, we continue to participate in God’s ministry of reconciliation. This hope enables us to think creatively and act inclusively as we probe innovative ways of keeping faith with the word, in an ever-changing world. In so doing, we commit to reaffirming our identity as bearers of Christian hope in a changing world.
“And how?” someone may ask. How may we carry forward this hope? By the lives we live and by the light we give. So during this season of good-will, let us celebrate Christmas modestly and anticipate the New Year conscientiously.
Let us continue observing all the COVID-19 protocols and cooperate with the stipulated curfew hours. We are confident that we will find innovative ways to plan and share in corporate worship services in the light of the restrictions.
Rev. Norva Rodney – President
Rev. Karl B. Johnson – General Secretary