A Thanksgiving message from Bishop Ernest S. Lyght

A Thanksgiving message from Bishop Ernest S. Lyght

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Dear Co-worker:

Grace and Peace be unto you in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this season of Thanksgiving, we remember these words: Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. (Jeremiah 33.6)

This season of Thanksgiving brings with it joy and thankfulness for family and friends. For some, it also holds sadness and pain from fond memories of loved ones who are no longer with us.

“Mohamed Dumbuya was overcome with emotion when the team from the Sierra Leone Conference arrived with gifts of food and words of consolation for the passing of his wife Mariatu Kamara, who recently died from Ebola. Kamara, 38, was a teacher at the United Methodist primary school in Makeni.” (Phileaus Jusu, Sierra Leone UMNS)

I invite you, in the midst of our joy and sadness, to remember our brothers and sisters who have been devastated by the Ebola epidemic. We have an opportunity to give generously to the Advance #982450 International Disaster Response as a part of our response in the midst of this health crisis. It is my hope that every congregation will provide an opportunity for its members to give to the Ebola Appeal.

It is now a historic fact that the Ebola crisis has affected over 13,000 people out of which almost 5,000 lives have been lost. Ebola cases are rising sharply according to a recent report from the United Methodist News Service. Beyond the statistics, this tragedy reflects the pain and suffering of fathers, mothers, children, and families who have lost loved ones. The report quoted Kamara’s husband saying, “The only way I am coping is by trying to accept that Mariatu is gone forever and that she will never come again. That is the reality of my situation but it is difficult to accept.”

The most destructive effects of this terrible Ebola epidemic are the fear, the stigma and the negative impact it has produced on West Africa. We may be confronted by the Ebola epidemic, stricken with human fear, but our victory comes from our faith in Jesus Christ.

It is therefore by faith that I call upon you to pray fervently for our brothers and sisters who are suffering the loss of loved ones. Let us pray for the sick, the dying, the caregivers and the medical researchers. Through our generosity we join our United Methodist churches in West Africa who are on the frontlines in caring for the caregivers, the sick and the bereaved. Your financial support helps UMCOR work with United Methodist Health boards and Global Medic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast.

I am grateful for the support and participation of the New York Conference as you prayerfully respond to this Ebola Appeal. The gifts that you give will help to make a difference as we join other mission partners in responding to this human crisis that affects the whole world. May God’s love, joy and peace abide with you and support you on our spiritual journey together.


Ernest S. Lyght