Watch night and Covenant Services were celebrated in many of our churches to usher in the New Year.
I am often awestruck by the renewal of the Covenant Prayer in which we boldly commit to be part of God’s dream for the world;
I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will, Put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for You or laid aside for You, exalted for You or brought low for You; let me be full, let me be empty, let have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal.
And now, God glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are mine and I am yours. So be it. And let the Covenant which I have made on earth be ratified in heaven. Amen
Instead of celebrating the gifts of peace and blessings at Epiphany, world attention was once again focussed on global terror with attacks in Northern Nigeria and Paris. The renewed saber rattling in the Ukraine and the continued threat of ISIL in the Middle East is still of grave concern.
As we enter the Lenten Season, please remember that 2015 is the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These were set by the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000 and endorsed by the Council in 2006, 2007 and 2011. The eight goals include eradicating extreme poverty, gender equality and improving health and education. These are all an integral part of our mission and for that reason, we need to evaluate our role as the Church in this Campaign.
A constant theme at the Global Economic Forum in Davos was global inequality and the Oxfam survey pointed out that by next year the richest one percent of the world’s population will be wealthier than ninety-nine percent. We can, must and will make a difference as we fulfil the Covenant through sharing the love of Christ with passion and conviction.
Allow me to take this opportunity to wish our Communications Director, Jason Bugg well as he moves to new employment. I am thankful for our time together at the headquarters in Lake Junaluska.
As we continue into 2015 and feel the full breath of concerns, changes and fond rememberances, let us do it with full hearts, open minds and ready hands for the challenges ahead.
Ivan M. Abrahams