By General Secretary Ivan Abrahams
Greetings during this holy Season of Advent, a time of great expectation and hope!
I write on this 5th of December, the first anniversary of the passing of Nelson Mandela, the founding father of a democratic South Africa. Today the world celebrates the legacy of this global icon and moral colossus. It is an honour and privilege to represent the World Methodist Council at the commemorative celebrations.
December also marks some significant gatherings, campaigns and anniversaries. The 20th United Nations Climate Change Conference, or Cop 20 takes in the Peruvian capital, Lima from1-12 December (see my greeting to the religious gathering in Lima). United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disability Day. The 16 Days of Activism campaign to eliminate violence against women and children (listen to the voices of Methodist leaders, Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Vice President of the WCC and Ms Harriett Olson, President, United Methodist Women). The 5th Anniversary of the Kairos Palestine Document Given all these campaigns and activities to make a difference in our world, I implore you to pray and support. In this issue of the First Friday Letter you will also find articles on Ferguson, Missouri that had the whole world weeping and in a rage, the challenges of immigration and the role that the church plays in Germany and the United States, the work of the Church of the Nazarene in Cambodia, a statement on Child Poverty in New Zealand, an update from the Methodist Church in Brazil, and more news from Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Advent, reminds us that we are a people of stubborn yet blissful hope and that we have a mandate to illuminate all places of darkness. Psalm 72 captures our hope and reminds us that we have no reason to fear. Let us spare nothing to strike a decisive blow to all pathologies that seeks to blight our future.
On behalf of the WMC staff, may I take the opportunity to wish you and your love ones a blessed and peaceful Christmas.
Ivan M Abrahams