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New Year, New Light!

What an extraordinary year 2017 was for America.   

Of the many movements that drew our attention and support, at least one is going down in the history books for all time.

It happened last January when young women organized a Women’s March in Washington DC the day after the Presidential Inauguration to demonstrate popular support for women’s issues and concerns.

The Women’s March, first suggested by a young woman on Facebook, went viral and became, according to the Washington Post, the largest single event in US history, with at least 653 reported marches in the US, involving over 4 million women and their supporters, including a contingent of Eden members who attended a march in Oakland. And that’s not counting the many marches and participants outside the US and across the globe.

And, the March didn’t end on Jan 21, 2017. The enthusiasm of the participants and observers kicked-off thousands, if not millions, of personal and group conversations about how to change the US and make it truly a better place to live for women of all ages. A day doesn’t go by without a news report about a woman who is embracing her call and her voice in response to the 2017 Women’s March.

A remarkable number of these women have bravely spoken up against sexual harassment, first in Hollywood, then in the US Olympic Gymnastics Team, the national news media, and Congress. Supported by the social media campaign #metoo, these women shared their personal experiences and opened the door to honest conversation and reflection about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and the importance of making it unacceptable and ensuring there are legal consequences for men who harass women, children, and other men.

As 2017 concludes, we are a better, more energized, more responsive America on women’s issues and concerns primarily because the willingness of young women to embrace their prophetic voice and to be a light to others who live in either fear, anger, or apathy. And yet, there is so much more to accomplish if we are to protect not only women but the most vulnerable members of our society from violence, poverty, and the gross inequity of our government’s policies, including our immigration policies.

As we approach 2018 and the season of Epiphany, we called to celebrate Christ’s light and how it shines in each of us. We know from 2017 that the power of a good idea like the Women’s March or the #metoo movement can truly to light up the whole world. Each of us have it in our power not only to suggest but also to support the changes we need. As Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew: “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” May we all find new and better ways to light up our world in 2018.

Pastor Pepper

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