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Greetings, Dear People of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and Friends,
Perhaps like you, I am often looking around for signs of encouragement, especially if at any moment I am feeling discouraged or even disconnected. In pondering this, I realize that encouragement comes to me in at least two very clear places.
First, I get encouragement from all of you! As I travel around the Diocese and have the opportunity to worship with you in your parishes, to see and witness your faithfulness, the encouragement that I receive is immeasurable, for I find it in you and your presence and your work, the work of your parishes, and the ministries with which you are engaged. Your endurance itself encourages me.
Then, and this won’t surprise you, I find encouragement in the Scriptures. Day after day, right in the midst of the readings of Advent, I see hope and fulfilment and promise. None is more poignant at this time of the year than what we hear in the second chapter of Luke, in the ninth verse, when we hear the angel announcing to the shepherds:
“Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.”
It is precisely into the midst of death and fear that hope becomes flesh in Jesus. In the body of an infant lying in a cattle trough some two thousand years ago, we discover that hope is real, for the sign God’s commitment to a new heaven and a new earth is found in that Child. Our Advent and Christmas celebrations seek to awaken us to the realization that the One born in Bethlehem is the embodiment of God’s hope for the entire world.
As a people of Jesus, we dare to join God in this hope. It becomes our great gift to the world, for wonder of wonders, a promise of the Manger is that God places hope in you and me! With joy, we then participate with God in the re-creation of the world. May the hope of Christ be born in you this day.
Christ’s love to you, and all whom you love, for a blessed celebration of the Nativity of our Savior.
Bishop Skip Adams
The Right Reverend Gladstone B. Adams III was elected and invested as our Bishop on September 10, 2016. Read more about him here.