A Letter from the Conference Ministers
We write in the midst of this complicated Advent season. It is easy to get overwhelmed and overloaded by the volume of bad news and fear that pervades our country and our world in many different forms this year. These are difficult times. There are no easy answers. The grief and sorrow and yes, even anger, are palpable for all of us. By faith we trust that God weeps over our country and the world as it moves through these dark days. In this Advent season we are called to wait and to watch and to prepare. And this waiting is sometimes very difficult.
of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut
Tony Robinson once commented “The Bible ends by not ending. It ends in anticipating. It ends with the faithful still waiting… this is what it means to be people of faith – to be still waiting, still watching, still hoping, still listening… for God. Fiercely waiting.”1
Waiting that is fierce cannot be passive. Called as we are to make God’s love and justice real, it is up to each of us to make real the Advent virtues of hope, peace, joy and love. We invite you and your congregations to prepare for the birth of the Holy child in a way that nurtures and amplifies these virtues. This is one way we can live out our call to be disciples of the One whose coming we await.
That concept of fiercely waiting rings true for us this year! Yes, we are still waiting for a world that God intends for us, a world of peace and hope, a world where the lion lays down with the lamb. And so we continue to wait… through the days of Advent, for the birth of the Holy child to come into our midst and into our hearts once again. And that brings us hope and joy and perhaps even a moment of peace and most certainly the knowledge that Love does and will continue to permeate it all.
We want to express our thanks and appreciation for each and every one of you at this season, for your ongoing support of our three Conferences in so many ways. Our hope for this New Year is that Together As One (RI, MA & CT conferences coming together collaboratively for the future) we might forge something new with promise for us all. We hope and pray that perhaps this New Year will bring about a change that will make a difference!
Barbara Libby, Rhode Island Interim Conference Minister
Jim Antal, Massachusetts Conference Minister & President
Kent Siladi, Connecticut Conference Minister
1. Fiercely Waiting, UCC Daily Devotional, Dec. 2, 2016
Photo by Bodomi, Creative Commons