Bishop Hughes talks about how the concept of "boldness" has emerged as a guiding principle both as a diocesan community and as individual members of it.
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Carlye J. Hughes's blog
Bishop Hughes notes that during this complicated time, it is not unusual for someone to say to her, “I don't know how to hold on to hope right now. I’m so frustrated, I am so angry, I have had enough.” Or, “I’m exhausted, I can't bring myself to care anymore.” And when she replies, “How about we pray?” there's a sense of hope that is reborn in wanting to pray.
"I think we get overwhelmed when we think we, on our own, must change the whole world or that we, on our own, cannot change the difficult issues that are facing us," says Bishop Hughes. "And there is rightness to that: on our own, we cannot do it. But if every single one of us does a little bit, if every single one of us does one thing only, then God, working through us, is able to make big changes in the world."
Bishop Hughes has stuck in her head the spiritual "Keep your lamps trimmed and burning," and finds it a comforting instruction for us to follow in these troubling, chaotic times.
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.
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?