Letter from Our Conference Minister
As we approach All Saint’s Day on Sunday, we remember the saints of the Church and the saints within each of our congregations. It is good to remember, to celebrate and feel the nurture of our common sadness and grief. Yet, even in these days of pandemic, we are not people without hope. We are people who believe in the presence of God, in the presence of Jesus and Spirit, and in the resurrection life yet to come. These are the beliefs in which our hope lives.
This year we remember not only our personal friends and family members, but we also remember the nearly 9 million Americans and the 44.6 million individuals world-wide who have contracted COVID-19. Of those more than 231 thousand Americans and 1.2 million individuals worldwide have perished. We remember and mourn for all those individuals whose lives were cut short, whose families are grieving, and whose faith communities are mourning their loss.
Yet, there is hope. We can count on God’s presence in this pandemic, in whatever state we find ourselves, no matter the struggles. I was known as the minister of hope while I was in seminary, but my hope is not without a basis in faith. There have been many losses in my life, my brothers, my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Through all these losses, I have known and felt the presence of God. Sometimes I have angrily cried out in lament to God. Sometimes I have wept in despair. Sometimes I have felt numb. Yet, God was there, is there in all those moments.
As you remember and celebrate the saints of the church, I ask that you remember to remember with love and hope. Love is our gift from God and to one another. Hope is the gift we have been given through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Our strength to remember and engage in love and hope comes through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Desmond Tutu spoke of hope saying, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” This All Saints Day, my prayer is that you feel the hope that is our faith.