Just as we had begun to enjoy the summer, the pandemic has taken an unexpected turn with infection rates suddenly spiking again. It could be easy right now to be discouraged or frustrated, says Bishop Hughes, but God has planted hope in us, and it's important for us to hold on to that hope as we persevere.
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Carlye J. Hughes's blog
Starting with the words from Isaiah, "Behold I am doing a new thing," Bishop Hughes reflects on the new things we have started learning and doing in the Diocese of Newark in the 15 months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and what the path forward might look like.
"One of the ways we can make a complicated time more joyful is to thank those who have helped us so much along this way," says Bishop Hughes.
We have learned so much during the pandemic. We have deepened our faith and grown spiritually so much during this time. And the God that we have learned to follow more closely in the hardest parts of pandemic will help us as we continue to ease our way out of pandemic.
As the increased numbers of people who have been vaccinated and the lowering of new COVID-19 cases allow us to loosen safety precautions, Bishop Hughes reflects on three things that God is bringing to our attention in a new way. (Time: 5:39.)
We've had a complicated and difficult year, says Bishop Hughes, and while vaccines are bringing us greater freedom and a sense of hopefulness, there is also anger and frustration. As we move forward, she asks us, who do you need to forgive? And who do you need to ask for forgiveness?
Many of us, even when we’ve had to hold tragedy and blessing together during this time of pandemic, have recognized that there has been goodness that God has placed in our life and that goodness is very often people and not things. As we head into the next phase, Bishop Hughes asks us to consider: what is it that we want to hold onto?
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.
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 guilty verdict delivered in the Chauvin trial elicited a range of reactions revealing our complex history and relationship with racism and racial violence.