God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
Re-Post of the Episcopal Letter from Bishop Peggy A. Johnson Dated 2 January 2013
2 January 2013Posted by on
Grace and peace to all in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference and the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. My husband Michael and I wish to thank all of you for your prayers and expressions of appreciation and greeting during the Christmas season. I am grateful for the honor and privilege of serving this wonderful area and I look to this New Year with faith-filled anticipation of what God will be doing in our midst.
I hope you all took note that January 1st was the 150th anniversary of the “Emancipation Proclamation,” which was made by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, during the Civil War. According to the National Archives and Records Administration the proclamation declared that “all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are and henceforth shall be free.” Immediately between 20 and 50 thousand slaves were freed in parts of 9 states in the south. Also the acceptance of black men into the Union Army began at this time. However, the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the states that had seceded from the union. Later other states would ratify this in their state constitution so the entire process of emancipation took a long, long time. Huge shifts in social paradigms move very slowly… back then as well as today. We still today struggle to complete the work of freedom and equality for all people. Is this not the cause of Christ ultimately? …To bring freedom to peoples’ souls as well as their very lives on this earth? Can we be working for anything better than to spread the Good News of salvation and then live in ways that bring freedom and empowerment to people who are on the margins of life? Easier said than done and surely this task takes great patience as it comes slowly. But as we work at it, it comes. May our churches in 2013 continue to preach the Gospel not just in our buildings but out in the world and then exemplify that Gospel in outreach and acceptance for all people. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for in due time, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) My prayers are with you all.
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson