To the beloved people of the RMC on this day of Epiphany:

Many philosophers, scientists, researchers, and theologians propose the notion that “what we focus on expands.” I am a longtime believer of this proposition, and if it is indeed true that what we focus on expands, then letting ourselves get too tied up in all the darkness of health crises, natural disasters, a swinging political pendulum, and other such matters only serves to bring more of that darkness into the world.

I know this to be true in my personal life. If I’ve been verbally offended by someone, I have a choice in my response: I can either respond in a snarky in-kind manner, bringing more darkness to that relationship… or, I can choose to find a response that bears the possibility of joy, light, and humor. (By the way, I’m not always perfect at this, but I hope from time to time you see me do this!)

What is apparent to me is that John 1:5 is true, if we seek to make it so:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

So, for this year, in subversive response to the darkness that seemingly threatens to engulf us all, the staff and I have adopted the theme of “Living the Spirit of Joy and Light.” Much of our Conference-based programming in 2019 will revolve around how we can become living emissaries of the Spirit of Joy and Light… even in the midst of darkness. Lest the accusation of looking at the world through rose-colored glasses be levied, I take heart in our commitment to walk in the footsteps of Christ, whom, even from the cross, was able to offer the light of forgiveness and an assurance of our oneness with God.

In the coming weeks, you will hear more of our program offerings for 2019, including monthly Zoom calls of “Joy & Light,” which I will host. I invite you to join me—and enjoin with the Holy Spirit—in becoming a force for Joy and Light in 2019.

Sue Signature

Rev. Sue Artt—Conference Minister for the RMCUCC