Bishop Ward introduces the season of Advent with an art piece depicting Mary and the angel Gabriel. She also encourages persons to participate in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29 and churches to take a special Advent/Christmas offering for Hurricane Matthew relief and recovery.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
In this week, we will gather and feast and give thanks and we will begin the season of Advent. We celebrate God’s great generosity in coming to us. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary saying, “Hail favored one! The Lord is with you.”
Mary, overshadowed by God’s greatness, responds to God, “Here I am, your servant. Let it be to me according to your Word.”
This scene in Luke chapter 1 is depicted in this beautiful Haitian artwork. The artist in Haiti, who created the Stations of the Cross that adorn the Dixon Chapel, created this beautiful artwork which will soon adorn the United Methodist Building in Garner as well. We give thanks for the reminder of God’s overwhelming goodness to each of us. Our generosity is a response.
We have two wonderful opportunities very soon. The first is Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29th, the fourth Giving Tuesday across The United Methodist Church.
On this day, go online and offer a gift in honor or in memory of a loved one. Celebrate Christ’s coming in this generous way. During the four weeks of Advent to Christmas Eve and Christmas day, consider where you will take offerings, a very special Christmas offering for Hurricane Matthew recovery. We know the great devastation in many places in our Annual Conference. As you offer to those gathered the opportunity to give for this cause, the response will be bountiful. It will be abundant.
Thank you for engaging in generosity in these ways as we begin the season of Advent together and respond to God as Mary did long ago. Here we are Lord. Let it be to us according to your Word.