The Gift of Light

. 2 min read
By Janet Coates, upon the donation of new altar candles:

The six new Altar Candles are given to the Glory of God, as
God’s gifts and love surrounds us, and as an honorarium to all that God has
given to us, and in grateful recognition of my family’s past and present
Methodist church members.

First and foremost: I am acknowledging and honoring all that
God has given to us and our family. I chose this gift because of what light,
since childhood, has meant to me, and I wish to share some thoughts with you
all. This gift is given because “God gave us light”. To me, the
candles are a physical symbol which reflects that light. In the Old Testament,
Genesis 1:14-19, “God brought humanity out of the darkness into light.” In the New Testament, John 3:17-21 and John 8:12, God gave
us, “The Light of the World” and in John 1:6-12, John the Baptist witness about
the true Light, Jesus Christ.
Since the early 1800’s through our lineage to Luther Peck
and his five sons, we have practiced the Methodist doctrines and traditions.
All five sons became Methodist preachers. The youngest, Jesse Truesell Peck,
was ordained a Bishop in 1872, in the Methodist Episcopal Church in the
Oneonta, New York Conference. Each generation taught the next generation of
God’s gifts, of God’s love, and God’s sacrifice for us, of his only begotten
son, Jesus Christ.

Last November, Pastor JP Bohanan encouraged us to meditate
and prayerfully consider what we are thankful for. I am thankful for my rich
Methodist family heritage, which has been passed on to two members of this
David Ralph Coates; by your spirit, your words, your
actions, and deeds of service, you have demonstrated, received, and
acknowledged God’s love and Jesus Christ as your Savior. In the Christian
spirit you have continued to raise and mentor other young men, as well as your
son, in Methodist principals, Confirmation, and as Acolyte Coordinator.
Sean Christopher Sterling Coates; by your Baptism,
Confirmation  and membership of this
church, and by your deeds of service, especially in Vacation Bible School,
Tuxedo Bell Choir and Acolyte, you have acknowledged God’s love and Jesus
Christ as your Savior.
I expect that both of you will continue throughout your
lives, to be servants of the Lord.
I am thankful for being raised in a “Christian-Methodist-Bible-toting
home”; where Bishops, ministers, laymen, missionaries and educators were often
dinner guests; and music and great conversations abounded. I am grateful for my
formal education at Wyoming Seminary and Syracuse University.
Pastor JP: Your journey here to Mountaintop, in my opinion
has brought a revival of the old, coupled with the new. In your eight months
with us, I see that this gathering (congregation), with your guidance, has been
rejuvenated, revitalized, and reenergized.
Thanks be to God!

Janet Green Coates