Yes, this is a United Church of Christ signage! After 7 months of organizing, on Tuesday December 20, we hosted the first meeting of the Coalition Against Expansion of Casinos in Connecticut, convened by my colleague Michele Mudrick, Legislative Advocate for the UCCC in Connecticut. Our Episcopal Church in Connecticut is a member of the coalition and I have agreed to serve as member of the Steering Committee to assist in supporting these efforts.
I arrived earlier to set up the equipment in order to include those who chose to attend via video conference. Once our successful meeting had finished, I left to attend another meeting in the city to note only two minutes later that I have left my coat and scarf at the UCC offices. After turning around as I walked to the building, I paused to take notice of the words of their slogan posted in their office sign: "God is still speaking".
Of course, I was aware that the UCCC has used this tagline for over a decade and yet in the context of this Christmas Season and the recent events in the world, reading their tagline was a gift of hope and joy to me, a gift I now share with you.
God spoke in the beginning of times and created this beautiful world. God spoke through holy men, holy women and prophets throughout the history of the people of Israel. Thousands of years ago, God spoke to us all in a transcendental way through His incarnation in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God spoke through Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and a sweet, innocent and fragile baby. In 2016, God spoke to our vulnerable Hartford homeless population through our Cathedral as we served 7,968 hot meals and provided clothing for 3,320 people.
As we celebrate this Christmas season God continues to speak, reminding us of God's reconciling love for all God's people. God speaks to us as we gather to sing Christmas carols, share gifts, a meal and our hopes and dreams for the next year.
God continues to speak at Christ Church Cathedral and to The Episcopal Church in Connecticut in marvelous and life-giving ways. Let us open our ears, hearts and minds to what the Spirit continues to tell to God's people. Let us stay focused on that message of love, redemption, restoration and reconciliation sent to us in the flesh, Jesus, our Savior.
In the midst of challenging and changing times, there is always room in the inn of our hearts for joy, peace and love as we live as followers of the Way. As the comedian Gracie Allen said, "Never place a period where God has placed a comma." Let us live beyond that comma to the unimaginable blessings and joys God has in store for us, God's beloved people.
May God continue to speak through each one of us this day and forever more.