bishop's perspective:

Reflect Christ’s light into the dark corners

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

We greet you in the powerful name of Jesus Christ who has come into the world to give light to every heart! Since our last Annual Conference, we have experienced the shattering of many false promises and empty hopes. September 11 jolted us awake to the stark reality that there is no ultimate security in wealth or military might. We experienced the dreaded evil of the demons of darkness.

Our world desperately needs the Light of Jesus Christ. Dogmas and cozy fellowship for the insiders won't do. Arguments over styles of church music will never save a single soul. Children with bloated stomachs and hollow eyes call the bluff of a church gone to sleep. Pious platitudes and condemnation do not shed light. Fighting over secondary issues contributes to darkness.

We call upon all our people in the Holston Conference to reflect more fully than ever before the Light of Christ. It must not be our puny, little light. It must be our reflecting the powerful, transforming Light of Jesus the Christ who is Savior and Lord. An old gospel song challenges us to do God's work:

Brightly beams our Father's mercy / From His lighthouse evermore; / But to us He gives the keeping/ of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! / Send a gleam across the wave! / Some poor fainting, struggling seaman, / you may rescue, you may save.

We implore you in the precious name of Jesus to reflect Christ's light into the dark corners in which you move and have your being.

You are blessed. Now go and bless others with the light and love of Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,

Ray W. Chamberlain Jr.
Resident Bishop

Bob Lockaby
Lay Leader

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