January 06, 2021
Members and Friends of New England Annual Conference,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The sixth day of the calendar year is known to Christians as the Feast of the Epiphany. Yesterday, while we were celebrating Christ’s light coming into the world, another tradition in the United States — that of certifying a presidential election — was disrupted by a violent, deadly confrontation that interrupted our democratic process. We are in deep need of prayer and contemplation over the present state of affairs and our role as people of faith walking in the light of God’s love.
Last night, we hosted a prayer vigil in the midst of the turmoil at our nation's Capitol. We are grateful to the hundreds of participants in that time of reflection and prayer, and for those who participated in other organized vigils across New England and the world. We encourage everyone to continue to hold vigil and pray for the healing of the nation in the coming days.
We invite you to use the recorded vigil for your own personal prayer reflection. It offers an hour of scripture, sacred song, traditional and contemporary prayers, and plenty of silence and space for your own personal prayers.
You might also find helpful the daily prayers shared through our conference from partners in ministry across the connection and prayer #517 in United Methodist Book of Worship.
We also commend to you a song by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, and this Prayer for Epiphany, written by Bishop Devadhar and offered as a blessing at the vigil yesterday:
May the radiance of the Star of Wonder
stimulate, inspire, and challenge us
so that in the spirit and courage of the Magi
we may take the unknown journey,
following the directions of the Divine GPS,
depending on the grace of God,
and empowered to confront the powers of the world,
which will equip us to accomplish the ministry and mission of Jesus,
wherever the Star of Wonder is leading us,
bearing the best gifts we could offer as disciples of Jesus Christ,
as modern-day wisepersons
adoring our Creator God, kneeling with the love of Christ,
listening to the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit!
We pray in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
No matter where you find yourself navigating the news and your place in it, we call each one to unite in prayer as God’s beloved children, seeking peace and light and love to overcome the darkness. Let us be guided by God’s eternal light as we continue through this season of Epiphany.
In the prophetic words of James Weldon Johnson,
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty;
let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.
In Christ’s love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Members of the Extended Cabinet
Mr. Rich Hughen, Conference Lay Leader
Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Dean of the Cabinet and Green Mountain District Superintendent
Rev. Dr. David Calhoun, Secretary of the Cabinet and Seacoast District Superintendent
Rev. Dr. Jackie Brannen, Katahdin District Superintendent
Rev. We Hyun Chang, Commonwealth East District Superintendent
Rev. Taesung Kang, Granite District Superintendent
Rev. Dr. Karen Munson, Many Waters District Superintendent
Rev. Megan Stowe, Commonwealth West District Superintendent
Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Connectional Ministries
Mr. John Cardillo, CFO/Director of Administrative Services/Treasurer
Ms. Beth DiCocco, Director of Communications
Rev. Rick McKinley, Director of Congregational Development
Rev. Ted Crass, President of the United Methodist Foundation of New England