Siyahamba – Our Commitment Campaign
What is more beautiful than an early fall morning as the warm yellow glow of the sun breaks over the horizon, bathing the sky in blue, giving life to the brightly colored leaves, and bringing beauty and wonder to a world that had lain in darkness through the long night? In the light of Christ’s love our chaotic world can also be a place of true beauty: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2) As Christians we are people who are called to bear the love and light of Jesus Christ to our broken world. Siyhamba is the song we have chosen for our commitment campaign for 2017. It comes from the Zulu Tribe in South Africa and translates: “We are marching in the Light of God.”
We will be exploring how we let our light shine out to the world and how we can do more: “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
This year we have been a light in the darkness. Every Sunday we gather to worship the Lord and listen for God’s words for us. We have a very active Sunday School that helps our young people learn about God’s love for the world. Our Chancel choir has brought us many beautiful anthems and the Alleluia choir has consistently lifted our spirits and deepened our faith each Sunday of the year. The youth group meets on a regular basis and a group of young and older members of the church went up to Farmington, Maine to repair and rebuild houses for Mission at the Eastward (MATE). We have gathered for Bible studies throughout the year.
We are mentoring two students: Yan Wang, and Sarah Jeanne Shimer. Yan is a seminary student at Boston University who is originally from China and has committed his life to Christ and is in the process of becoming a Presbyterian minister. Sarah Jeanne is our Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) from the Presbytery of Boston. Sarah Jeanne is working with our young people helping them understand the need for all people to have access to good food and working with our Interfaith Community Garden growing food with people of the Jewish and Muslim faith for our food pantry “A Place to Turn.” With our mentoring, our former member and student Karla Dias is now the pastor of the Londonderry Presbyterian Church in NH. We have welcomed a growing Brazilian Presbyterian Congregation, Shekinah Presbyterian Church of Natick. And we have once again hosted two Alcoholics Anonymous gatherings in our church. It has been and exciting year!
But there is more that we can do. As we head toward 2018 let us dream together about what is possible. Let us seek together new ways to be a light in the darkness. Let us hear our Advent passage from the Gospel of John about the birth of Jesus: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. We are light in a dark world.” (John 1:5) We are hope in the midst of hopelessness. We are love in a world that often has none. With Jesus lighting the path before us we can fill our world with his light and help others find the hope that is possible with faith. To be able to do this each of us needs to make a commitment of our time, talents, and treasure. When we are “marching in the light of God” we can change our lives and the world around us.