Page 1 - 2020-December 2021-January Newsletter
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Southern Pennsylvania District

                                             Church of the Brethren

                                                     A Message from our District Executive

                                       What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-
                                       Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out. There once
                                       was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light.
                                       He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not
                                       himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. The Life-Light was
                 The Word              the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the
               became flesh            world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn't even notice. He
                 and dwelt             came to his own people, but they didn't want him. But whoever did want him,
                among us.              who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be
                                       their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not
                 John 1:14a            blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten. The Word became flesh
                                       and blood and moved into the neighborhood. John 1:4-14 (The Message)

                                       Do you have your tree up or your lights on the outside of the house? I am
                                       beginning to see the houses with lights in our neighborhood as I write this the
                                       day before Thanksgiving. Light has always been a symbol of the Advent season.
                                       We talk and sing about the light of the world coming to our world, or
                                       neighborhood as Peterson renders it.

          Volume 38, Issue 6           I really think we need to receive that light in a new and powerful way this
          Dec 2020/Jan 2021            Christmas. Our world seems dark and for many our world has shrunk as they are
                                       forced to work from home, limit travel, and not visit with family and loved ones
                                       this year. I think of colleagues who have lost spouses or family members, and
                                       this is the first Christmas with that proverbial empty chair around the table.
              I N S I D E   T H I S
                 I S S U E :
                                       COVID-19 19 has affected us all even if we have not been sick. And lest we
                                       forget, a rather rancorous and divisive election season has given us all a bad
           New & Events     2-23
           Throughout the              taste in our mouths. And then there is the schism in our beloved denomination.
                                       As Christians, we are to be bearers of that light that has come into the world. I
                                       believe that even in our darkest moments there is hope. And that hope is Jesus.
           Training        24-29
                                       We see Jesus’ hope in the love that others show as they minister in His name. I
           Giving Report &   10-11     thank God for the dedicated pastors who have slogged through all the changes
           Budget Planning             that this pandemic has forced upon them. I see the light in their service. I see the
                                       light in our congregations who share the Gospel in word and deed and care for
                                       others, not just when it is trendy during the Christmas season, but all year long.
           Meeting & Event   33
                                       Where do you see the light? But more importantly…Where are you being the
                                       light? 2020 is almost over. One day, things will change for the better when it
           2021 Events     34-37       comes to the pandemic. I hope and pray that the lessons we have learned by
           Calendar                    going together through this time will last and inform our lives moving forward.
                                       Jesus has indeed moved into our neighborhood and we can rejoice.

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