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January 2020


Dear partners in ministry,


It seems like just yesterday that we were beginning to decorate for Christmas and, now, the house looks bare, lifeless, and devoid of color. I feel the same way; maybe you do, too.  Pittsburgh doesn’t have all that many days of sunshine, and when the days get longer, Pittsburgh seems to rival Alaska.  What are we to do with the reality of our “seasonal disorder” in this new year of 2020?


An idea to combat our “seasonal disorder” comes from the season of Advent.  Remember those four weeks, and those four candles that stood within the advent wreath?  There are a variety of styles attached to the Advent wreath candles that give wonderful meaning to us, but the one style that I crafted sermons around was the Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace style.  The first candle was our foundation, Hope, the promise that God is always with us.  The second candle was Faith, faith in the promise that God is always with us.  The third candle was Joy, there is joy when we have the faith in the promise that God is always with us.  The fourth candle was Peace, peace becomes our way of life, when there is joy within the faith, in the promise that God is always with us.  The middle candle is the Christ candle, the white candle, full of light.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.  Even though our world may seem filled with darkness, and darkness may take many forms in our lives, the light of Christ is with us.  Christ’s light is within everyone we encounter, our relationships in our homes, at work, in our worship communities, and in our neighborhoods.  Christ’s light is within nature, since December 21, 2019 more daylight has been inching its way back into our days.


Take a moment this January to recognize the warmth and brightness of the light of Christ within yourself, each other, and in God’s wonderful creation.


Many Blessings to each of you this New Year, and best wishes of Health and Happiness to all!


Vicar Mandy and the whole PLUM Pastoral Team




Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773