I am writing this a couple of weeks before Christmas, on a grey, gloomy, winter afternoon when the sun refuses to shine, as we reluctantly drift toward the longest night of the year. As someone who lives with seasonal affective disorder, it would be very easy for me to let a sense of gloom and dooms overwhelm me, as it sometimes does.
I know that I am not alone. Almost everyone I know is also struggling to find their way through these troubling times.
An important part of Canada Lutheran’s mission is to inspire. So I’ve enlisted many people to do just that in this issue. I hope that our combined efforts will not only help you find a way to move toward our future, ready to meet the challenges that face us, but that you will discover at least one way that you can reach out to someone else, inspiring, engaging and inviting them to join us along the way.
Like me, you may be all too aware of your limitations. It is so easy to list them and let them impede any effort to find some way to do something positive in some way, even if it may seem small and insignificant.
As I edited the material you will read, I was reminded again and again that there are many possibilities that help us find ways to move beyond our limitations and to muster the courage to become engaged, focusing on what we can do.
When the COVID pandemic began, a few people in Winnipeg decided to brighten up the long Winnipeg winter nights, when darkness moves in on us growing longer and longer, and it takes a very long time before we sense daylight begin to grow slowly more and more again. They encouraged us inspire others by turning on at least a few outdoor lights, maybe just put a light in a window.
I decided to join them, turning on a few strings of outdoor lights at Halloween and adding more along with my Nativity Scene at the beginning of Advent until Epiphany; then still leaving on a few strings until the days have truly lengthened.
I’ve been told by some who pass our house, that it does make a difference for them. As winter sets in, one little boy keeps asking his mother when that Nativity Scene will be there. It was a joy to see his shy wonder when I finally put it in place this year.
As Jamie Foley reminds us in our feature article, “God is here, as near as the person next to us. Let’s find the courage, once again, to sing a new song of hope.”
Administrative leadership is among the spiritual gifts and vitally important to the life of the church (p. 30).
Our mission includes seeking out those who are marginalized and exploited throughout society and helping them (p. 7).
In The lost art of grieving (p. 9), we are reminded not to rush through the act of grieving, our own or that of others.
The examples of early Christians remind us that visiting the sick is among important Christian activities, even suggesting it can be a desirable fruit of a happy Christian marriage (p. 15).