A Special Christmas Message 
from the Bishop

Dear Friends in Christ,

When we gather in worship this Christmas season, we will thank God for the new light that God has brought to the world through the birth of Jesus, and pray that light will be enkindled in our hearts and shine forth in our lives. The Collect for Christmas II describes something vitally, urgently true, which that light enables us to see: that God wonderfully created, and now has "yet more wonderfully restored the dignity of human nature." Drawing on this truth, Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes, "God gave each of us inherent worth and value; accept it in yourself, discover and encourage it in others, and peace may just be possible."

I pray that as we enter Christmas this year, we will cross the threshold into a time of increased emphasis on this reality. May we be helped to regard those who differ from us through the lens of this truth, and truly listen to them. In so doing, may we be a healing presence amidst the divisions of our world. May we be more effective partners with Christ in his work of reconciliation. May we do all this as we live our promise to "strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being."

God bless you richly this Christmas, and empower you for the work ahead.
Yours in the love of Jesus,

Art: The Nativity, Lorenzo Monaco (Piero di Giovanni) ca. 1370-1425, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, www.metmuseum.org.
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