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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have entered a new year and a new decade. In many ways and in many places, it is a time of fear and travail. Wildfires rage in Australia and intentional fires ravage the Amazon Rainforest. Glaciers melt and sea levels are rising globally as the planet warms and people of coastal towns and villages are forced to leave their homes for higher ground. Climate change is challenging the production of food. St. Paul’s words to the Romans seem more important than ever,
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; …that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:19,21
Conflicts and wars continue to displace people by the millions, many of them rural. And the people who live on and tend the land of God’s creating continue to seek to provide sustenance, food and fiber, to a rapidly growing population and a dramatically changing world.
But there is great hope as God leads us into the future. As God’s people around the world we have just celebrated the birth of Christ and now in Epiphany, we celebrate his revelation. At this time, we often turn to the words of the Evangelist John,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 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 true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:1-5, 9
Where there is light, there is the potential to see. There is the potential for vision. The Light that is Christ Jesus makes vision possible. Where I live 20/20 refers to clear vision. May the year 2020 be a year of clear vision in the Light of Jesus Christ. May this year be the beginning of a decade of clearer vision of God’s purpose and mission for God’s people and God’s creation. For in that Light and that Vision is true hope.
When we gather again as an organization in two years (2022), we will address some of these issues of climate change and people migration. Please know that the coordinating leaders of IRCA meet regularly and we pray for you and the mission and ministry of Christ’s church in your place.
Blessings Upon You and Your People and Your Land,
Rev. Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen