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December 2022

It seems like a very long time ago that I sat down to write a message to all of you, and it has been three months, a long time. This time of Sabbatical has been filled with life lessons about myself, my faith and how to live out the rest of my public ministry before retirement. I have missed you all! That might seem an odd thing to say when for some of you I have not seen you in a few years since Covid began but I am aware that many of you continue to watch us online and participate through things like this newsletter.

As I jump back in at this time of anticipation and waiting through Advent I am coming in very aware of our need to reconnect with one another and our communities in general. I am currently reading Michelle Obama’s book The Light We Carry about “overcoming in uncertain times”. It is a powerful message about how our forced disconnection has caused a transition in our lives that we didn’t see coming. We were not prepared for such a blow and it has changed us forever. (Advent scripture reminds us to be prepared for the coming of this special child – are we ready for this that could change us forever?)

For some it has been devastating, sending us into a personal and collective depression. With this disease (Covid) came a time in political history that changed the trajectory of a leading political force that has had devastating effects on law and order, common decency and wellbeing around the world. We have allowed hate to regain ground and have found it hard to trust the very people we have placed in power to guide us through.

This may sound a bit harsh in this time that should be all about hope, peace, joy and love and this is why I bring it up…the elephant in the room – disease and war, political unrest and the reality of our past actions catching up to us in the name of Religion…we need the “Christ child” now more than ever. Not doctrine and drawn lines in the sand. We need to carry the light that Michelle Obama is writing about and that our Christmas story has tried to tell us year after year, regardless of religious belief or not, the “story” the “meaning” behind the story is beyond one belief system to reach us all. The light in all.

Our light is not just coming; it is here in each and every one of us. We must trust in the tried and true story that brings us hope and light, joy and love, peace and goodwill. We know how to regain our community. Jesus taught us to love in times of trouble. To look to light when we are in the midst of darkness; to be connected to one another through the Spirit energy that unites us. It is ours to do, to find the light in one another; to bring the light to one another; and to live our lives brightly by caring for one another.

My Christmas prayer is to carry the light, to pass on the light, and to look to the light that leads us. Amen


Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years to each of you!

Rev. Robin Sherman

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Affirm United Ensemble is an organization of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities within The United Church of Canada. Affirm United works to promote the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the church and in society. The Affirming Ministries Program was launched by Affirm United and Friends of Affirm in the summer of 1992 (at that time, it was called “Affirming Congregations”). Each United Church organization that is an Affirming Ministry declares itself to be fully inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities—and they back up their words with action.

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