"It takes constantly working to open one's eyes," says Bishop Hughes. "It takes looking sometimes at really difficult things – things that hurt.
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Carlye J. Hughes's blog
"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.)
In her Christmas sermon, Bishop Hughes reminds us, "It is Christmas, today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and every single day that we hear that call to not be afraid and to go looking for the sign of Jesus who is with us and near us and in us and in all of God's people the whole world over."
Bishop Hughes talks about preparing for this Christmas in a way that we've never prepared for Christmas before. (Time: 4:39.)
We're facing a Christmas that is different than any we have ever had. How do we walk through Advent in the midst of pandemic and division? Bishop Hughes shares the inspiration she found when she heard a new rendition of a favorite old hymn. (Time: 5:05.)
Bishop Hughes shows her sacred space at home and talks about the importance of making a sacred space for ourselves, especially as we are facing a holiday season like none we have experienced before due to the Covid pandemic. (Time: 4:04.)
Noting that we stand at a crossroads this week, Bishop Hughes says, "A person could almost start to ask the question, 'How do we manage it all?' And I think it's important for us to remember, that we don't manage it all. That is the God who created us, the God who loves us, the God who remains with us, that we turn to to help us walk through it all." (Time: 5:07.)
Dear Companions on the Journey,
As I’m sure you well recall, I put emergency measures into place for this pandemic in March of this year, with in-person worship being suspended in most churches on March 15 and in all churches by March 22. This emergency approach stayed in place into the summer, even as Journey Forward guidelines were issued in June. These guidelines permitted a return to in-person worship for congregations interested and able to do so. Staying completely online or remote continues to be an absolutely acceptable way to worship.
"I think if Episcopalians will do what we do – pick up our prayer books and say our prayers faithfully – then we have done an important act of service for the entire nation," says Bishop Hughes.
Bishop Hughes talks about the rite of confession and forgiveness in our Book of Common Prayer, and how it can be a means letting go of grudges and wounds and going forth changed and blessed.