Christmas Eve 2021

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the name of our incarnate Lord Jesus Christ.  It has become popular nowadays to criticize the missionaries of the 19th century, and being human, they made lots of mistakes, to be sure.  But we do well to recall their courage too.  For a vivid example, think of Father Damien, the leper of Molokai.  The superior of his Roman Catholic Congregation of the Sacred Names of Jesus and Mary asked a room full of potential missionaries who would be willing to go to the fearsome Molokai, island of lepers and promise of certain contagion for any long-term visitor. Every hand went up. That too is an example of missionary history!

But my main point has really to do with the Incarnation.  Imagine what Damien saw when his boat neared the shore- a band of people, stranded, missing fingers or ears or nose, or nearing death, reaching out their hands to receive him.  It was a year later, at Eastertide, that he stood among his flock and said ‘Greetings in the Lord, my fellow lepers.’  The saints are significant not in themselves but in the way the point to Jesus. So we must think of the mystery of the Nativity as God’s boat nearing our shore, and His whole life, your manger through the cross, as His full taking on our condition.

There are moments in the recent past when we too may have felt stranded on such a lonesome island, with our own spiritual deformities, reaching out our arms.  This season these feelings are but the occasion for this great mystery, in its terrible and wonderful depth, of Emmanuel, ‘God-with-us.’ May that same Lord bless you, your families, your congregations, and your neighborhoods in this season.

Peace,

The Rt. Rev. Dr. George R. Sumner

Bishop of Dallas

 

 

 

Convention Collection

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ. There have been ways in which the pandemic has isolated us, though in other ways it has bound us together in a common experience. This leads to a deeper realization that we are actually a Body, a people, across cultures and nations. This Convention, we are grateful to God for continuing to bring us through, for upholding and encouraging us.

A ‘convention’ is literally a ‘coming together,’ which is what, by grace, the Church of Jesus Christ is. In the New Testament, this love and solidarity in the Body take a concrete form, for example in collection for the saints in Jerusalem representing the ‘bonds of affection,’ our mutual responsibility one to another. (I Corinthians 16:1)

Every year we take up a collection at our Convention. This year I invite you to take part in a special offering of thanksgiving and of solidarity. Our long-time friend, Bishop Lloyd Allen of Honduras, is seeking support for his Centro de Cuidados infantiles, Amiguitos de Jesus, Center for Childcare, the Little Friends of Jesus, in Villanueva, Cortes. The Center will provide for the immediate needs of children from the poorest homes.

To donate to Bishop Allen's Center for Childcare, The Little Friends of Jesus, send a check to the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas at 5100 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75206 and note in the memo line "Honduras Donation."

HERE IS BISHOP ALLEN’S DESCRIPTION OF THE CENTER’S ADDITIONAL OBJECTIVES:

Ayudar al padre de familia con la educación de sus hijos mediante el cuidado y la instrucción de sus hijos dentro del centro.

To help fathers with the care and education of their sons at the center.

Contribuir al desarrollo fisico, intelectual, espiritual, afectivo y social del niño.

To contribute to the physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and social development of the child.

Estimular el desarrollo de capacidades motrices en los ninos de preescolar.

To stimulate the development of capacities of movement in the preschool children.

Fomentar habitos de convivencia con los demas niños.

To form habits of sharing with the other children.

The communities served had suffered greatly from the hurricane on top of Covid. If we can raise $15,000, the diocese will match it for $30,000, which will fund the Center for half of 2022. Our collection will be presented as our in-gathering at our Convention Eucharist. I hope that it can be a kind of sacrament of our common heart for mission, and our gratitude for the communion Christ calls us into.

To donate to Bishop Allen's Center for Childcare, The Little Friends of Jesus, send a check to the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas at 5100 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75206 and note in the memo line "Honduras Donation."

Click here for Bishop Lloyd's Powerpoint presentation. 

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