calendar March 15, 2021 in Bishop, Bishop messages

Thank you for your creative ministry!

Greetings, beloved.

I’m reminded of the encouragement that comes from Psalm 31. It says, “Be strong, and take heart, “all you who hope in the Lord.”

It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on the first anniversary of the day everything shut down. I remember thinking that it would be a few weeks at most, but here we are a year later.

A year later, and I want to say thank you. Thank you for your faithfulness on this journey. Your creative work that you’ve been doing over this last year speaks volumes.

I’m reminded of the letter to the Thessalonians that calls us to therefore, “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as, in fact, you are doing.”

I am so blessed. I’ve seen you at work making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, yes, now well over 100,000 and counting, for those experiencing homelessness, for those who are hungry. But you know that it’s more than food for the stomach; it’s food for the soul. As I’ve seen you at worship on the parkway with the Welcome Church community. I’ve seen you at food banks dropping off groceries, your hands at work in the pantry preparing bags for those unemployed and underemployed.

I am in awe of your generosity, sharing your financial gifts for COVID relief and support in so many areas. I applaud the spirit of collaborations as congregations have banded together and are working together to share online worship links and Saturday children church links.

There’s no going back. We’ve got to keep it moving forward. This is the time to keep improving online presence, the online presence of worship and learning and fellowship, and look forward to continuing that presence even after we can be together again.

You are beacons of light for many in this pandemic fog. I am so godly honored to serve as your Bishop in such a time as this. You are awesome witnesses of disciples of Christ. I am just so overjoyed to be able to say to you from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul with gratitude, from a grateful, grateful, grateful five-county area to you because we are Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod together. Thank you.

I leave you with these words from 1 Corinthians 15:58, a scripture of promise and of hope. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. “Let nothing move you. “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord “because you know that your labor in the Lord “is not in vain.” We are strengthened in the journey, strengthened in this struggle. Blessings, beloved.

The Rev. Patricia A. Davenport,