WE WEAR THE MASK

“We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, . . . Why should the world be other-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while we wear the mask.”

 

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LOOKING OUT FOR THE LEAST

Image: “I was Hungry,” by Nathan Greene 
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matt. 25:45, NIV). Are you aware that April is National Child Abuse Prevention month? Isn’t it ironic that April 2020 finds millions of American children sheltering in place at home as a precaution against contracting or spreading the coronavirus (COVID-10)? In some states, public and private schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. E-education will be the modality of teaching and learning during the pandemic. 

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SOCIALLY DISTANT YET SPIRITUALLY CONNECTED

Listening to one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press briefings on the coronavirus (COVID-19) contagion the other day, I was struck by something he said. The governor of New York encouraged New Yorkers to remain spiritually connected even as they complied with his Executive Order to practice social distancing.

Social distancing is understood to mean staying at least 6 feet apart from others, especially those you do not know. The admonition of government and medical authorities is that we stay away from each other for our own good.  “Stay at home” is the order of the day. To be socially isolated during these unprecedented times may be the difference between life and death. Read more…

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IN TIMES LIKE THESE

Warmest Christian greetings,  
I pray you and your loved ones are well physically and spiritually.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc at home and abroad, bringing entire countries and communities to their knees. By now, everybody has been impacted by the pandemic in some way.   The non-stop torrent of news about the virus is difficult to ignore, and I suspect that many of you have stocked up on supplies to get you through the coming weeks, if not months.

As we knew would happen, there has been a whirlwind of rapid developments that call for an update on what the Lake Region Conference (LRC) has done and is doing to deal with this unprecedented situation. Please note the following items, some of which are actions voted by LRC’s Administrative Council, ADCOM.

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Women Count, Women Matter

Katherine Johnson passed away on February 24, 2020, at age 101. You’re probably knitting your brow wondering who was Katherine Johnson and asking why is her death noteworthy. Johnson was one of the first African American woman hired by NASA and one of the three African American women scientists depicted in the movie Hidden Figures that compellingly tells of the pioneering work they did at NASA. Not surprisingly, the performance of the brilliant women mathematicians, who toiled in the shadows at NASA because of their race and gender, was not celebrated or recognized at the time.  If the movie Hidden Figures teaches anything, it is that the contributions of African American women were often overlooked and undervalued by society, all because of their race and gender.

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Everyday Counts, Everyday Matters

 
This being a leap year, February has 29 days; and because the month started on a Sabbath, it is ending on a Sabbath.  February has five Sabbaths this year, something that doesn’t happen often. The extra day means that we get to celebrate Black History one more day. When it comes to focusing on Black History, every day counts, every day matters. Some people believe that commemorating or celebrating Black History  is divisive and counterproductive.  They say that the celebration opens up old wounds and leads to resentment at a time we should be pursuing unity and collaborative engagement. That we should bury the past and focus on the future is the cry of countless individuals.  How do you feel?  What’s your opinion?
 
 

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FAMILY, FORGIVENESS & FAITH: THE LEGACY OF KOBE BRYANT

Where were you and what were you doing when news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant had died in a horrific helicopter crash reached you? I was in a meeting of Regional Conference presidents when someone broke the news. A collective gasp was followed by an eerie hush as we tried to reconcile ourselves to the untimely and tragic passing of Bryant, which sent shock waves not just around the United States of America but around the world.

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SEEING 20/20 IN 2020

Happy New Year! The start of a year provides opportunity for reflection and projection. It’s a time to look back before looking forward with hope and purpose. Each New Year dawns with possibility and potential, evoking in us not only memories of the past but resolutions for growth and progress in the year ahead. 2020 will be a significant year. It will be a census year in this country, and Americans will be voting for a president and other federal and state officials in November 2020. In the middle of the year, Seventh-day Adventists are going to convene a General Conference Session in Indianapolis, Indiana, to conduct the business of the church, including the election of leaders for the world church.


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THE MARVEL AND MEANING OF THE MANGER

What do you think about when you think of Christmas? Frost and snow? Carols being sung on street corners? Holly-decked churches and homes aglow with color and gaiety? Feasting and revelry? Greetings cards stressing themes of love, goodwill, happiness, and Christmas evokes a medley of warm and sublime images.  Read more…

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GIVE THANKS

Mental health issues are very much in the news of late. Perhaps because the stigma of discussing mental health is disappearing, we’re hearing more and more about mental  conditions, such as depression. Nowadays, people are not as loathe to admit that they are struggling with depression as they once were, and it’s to society’s benefit that to admit that one is struggling with mental health issues is no longer taboo.

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