Bishop Hughes reminds us that as an Easter people, we know that God uses everything around us for resurrection, including the change we are going through during this time of pandemic.
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Bishop Hughes says, "It is a heartbreaker this week that the news came out from another denomination that somehow our siblings who are lesbian, gay, trans, queer – that somehow they were less worthy of the sacrament of marriage than others. I suspect that for most of them all they heard was, 'You are not good enough.'"
The theme for Lent 2021 is Stories of Hope.
After a year of pandemic, folks are just tired. We've had enough of dealing with pandemic and tragedy and we're ready for something different. And here's where I think we might be able to make a difference in Holy Week: what if we intentionally shared God's love?
The text of Bishop Hughes' sermon at the Service of Remembrance & Gratitude on March 13, 2021.
Bishop Hughes urges us all to pray for our nation daily, reminds us why we are called to pray, and shares her favorite prayer.
The past 11 months of pandemic seems like one incredibly long Lent, Bishop Hughes notes – but one that also has had much restoration, with prayer, contemplation, self-evaluation and turning to God. This Ash Wednesday, she reframes the invitation to a holy Lent as an invitation to take even deeper what we have been experiencing in our spiritual lives during this time.
God has been doing new things among us during the pandemic: growing in the faith, sharing the faith, and caring for the community. Fueling these is the power of relationships, and Faith Groups are a place to build those relationships with each other and with God.
"It takes constantly working to open one's eyes," says Bishop Hughes. "It takes looking sometimes at really difficult things – things that hurt.
"For us in this time that has been pandemic, God has turned on a light," says Bishop Hughes. "We've been learning something about what the church could be. We've been learning something about who we are called to be as faithful people." (Time: 4:48.)