Bishop's Advent Appeal 2017

December 1, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ:

Advent is a season both of darkness and of hope. The candles that we light and carry through this season point to the hope of the future—of the coming of Christ, the salvation of the world. We all carry that light and we are all meant to be the bearers of that hope.

In our diocese, sharing the light of Christ, the light of hope, is what I think of when I talk about transformational leadership. We see this leadership in all corners of our diocese. I have seen it in churches in this diocese where clergy and laity have made bold moves to let go of cherished buildings or ways of doing things to find new life, energy and purpose in ministries they could never have imagined before.

This kind of leadership is present among our chaplains in hospitals and nursing homes, in teaching that’s transforming young lives and in our public witness about racial injustice and the scourge of gun violence.

I believe passionately that our churches must be places where leading with the light is on obvious and reliable display. Everything that my staff and I do each day is focused on fostering and supporting this kind of leadership in communities large and small.

And as there is light, there is hope. Despite the decline of institutions around us, in this diocese we’re seeing congregations and other institutions bucking the trend by thriving.

Together we are called to carry the light of Christ into the world and to bring hope to dark places. Thank you for the ways in which you are already living into this calling. I believe that if we each carry this light of hope with us we will see it grow and flourish in the year to come. I look forward to more honest, life-giving relationships, more thriving ministries, more opportunities for transformation. Please join me in contributing to our shared future with a generous year-end gift to the Bishop’s Appeal.


The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago