Stewardship Moments of Light

January, 2021

John 1:3-5

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in Him was life and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. 

The Christmas holidays this year has made me ponder 2020 and all the dark and light witnessed in our community, nation and the world.  I can’t help but to harken back to January 2020 before the darkness of the pandemic descended on our world.  Julia Hoyle and I joined Lera Williams, Eileen Morgan and Steve and LaRue Dedrick on a Holy Land Pilgrimage with the Episcopal Diocese of NC.  We were led by the Rev. David Umphlett of Holy Trinity in Greensboro, the Rev. Dr. Sally French, our interim regional canon, and Bishop Anne who presided over all of us!  What a light filled, joyful journey it was following the life of Jesus from Shepherds’ Fields in Bethlehem to Golgotha and his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

However, today on Epiphany (the festival of light), I am thinking about two of the most light-filled places we visited among all the holy sites and how Jesus himself would have visited too.  The first was an orphanage in Bethlehem run by French Catholic nuns.  They cared for newborn to kindergarten Palestinian children.  We were uplifted by the love the nuns showered on the children.

Three days later, we visited St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus, a city of 350,000 on the West Bank and home to a large Palestinian refugee camp.  We learned that the hospital is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and is the only charitable hospital in the city.  We also learned that, in spite of providing a wide range of normal hospital care, the hospital had been operating without a CT Scan.  Needless to say, we were overjoyed at the signs of light amidst the bleakness of the West Bank and were amazed by the quality of healthcare and love received by the indigent people. 

Our pilgrimage donated to both the orphanage and hospital and we continue to support God’s work through the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.  Investing in places providing light for the world is another way we live into our stewardship.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. 

With faith in generosity,

Patty Michaels and the Stewardship Team

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