bishop's perspective:

Our logo says it all

Shortly after Sept. 11, the Annual Conference Planning Team gathered to consider what crucial witness we needed to proclaim at our 2002 session. We knew we wanted to light candles of hope. We struggled with developing a theme. We left our meeting certain of our conviction but still in search of words to describe it.

Then Discipleship Team Chair Jean Henderson, inspired by the Spirit, offered up the theme, "Reflecting The Light." It instantly connected in our hearts. Director of Communications Kevin Slimp set about creating a logo. Several attempts just did not seem right. And then it happened. In Cokesbury Center chapel, with camera in hand, he set the basin and pitcher on the altar table, lit a candle and captured in our very souls the logo for this Annual Conference.

Our logo says it all. It recognizes Jesus who brings light and hope to every dark corner of our lives and society. It reminds us we are not The Light. Jesus the Christ is The Light. We are invited – and yes, mandated – to reflect that light in our thinking, dreaming and doing. The basin and pitcher testifies to the spirit of humility demonstrated by Jesus.

In a world scarred and wounded by terrorism and brutality, we followers of Jesus Christ are expected to exhibit the disposition and character of our Lord. In the spirit of Paul, the first missionary, we are urged to "by all means" possible reflect the light and love of Jesus so that the lost and hurt will be found and healed.

I invite you to come to Annual Conference pregnant with the expectation of experiencing the powerful light of Jesus the Christ who "bids darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow's tears away."*

Yes, we do have something to say to the darkness. We will pray it, sing it, preach it, believe it and then go forth to reflect it: the light and hope and love of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior!

*From hymn, "My Faith Looks Up To Thee"

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Bishop Ray W. Chamberlain
Resident Bishop

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