CUMC shares ‘Light of Life’

Outreach, sermon series point to our Savior, Jesus Christ, as a light in every season; through end of this month

  • The Rev. Wil Cantrell, CUMC senior associate pastor, places a star on one of the trees where members of the community are encouraged to stop by, pick up a star and share how Jesus remains the “Light of Life” in every season. - Photo Submitted

  • The lighted display on the front lawn of Concord United Methodist Church, 11020 Roane Drive, is part of the church’s current “Light of Life” sermon series intending to give encouragement. - Photo Submitted

Even though Christmas is behind us, Concord United Methodist Church is continuing to share the “Good News” that Jesus remains the “Light of Life” in every season.

Church pastors began a sermon series on Post-Traumatic Growth Sunday Jan. 3, sharing “the ‘Light of Life’ is how to move forward in the light of Christ in the midst of trauma,” said the Rev. Glenna Manning, associate pastor of discipleship.

Further illustrating the message, lighted trees have been placed in the church’s front lawn, 11020 Roane Drive, which are expected to remain at least through the end of January.

Both members and non-members are invited to come by the church, pick up a star (which will be located in plastic tubs outside the worship center on wire racks) and write a scripture, song lyric or poem that reflects personally how “the Light still shines in the darkness,” said Manning, who had the idea for the “Light” project.

“It came about when we were going into Advent and decorating for Christmas — and all of a sudden noticing there was an extra pep in people’s steps, even amid the pandemic,” she said. “People were putting up Christmas lights and decorating to bring joy and find peace. We enjoyed so much seeing the lights, but then when we were warned the winter would likely be a hard one, I realized that Christ’s light doesn’t go out just because Christmas is over, and He tells us those who follow Him will never be in darkness.

“His light is still shining.”

Manning said she saw the project as a “way to uplift and encourage one another during these troubling times. It was so comforting to drive around and see the lights, and we wanted to continue to offer that. And, we want people to share with us, and the community, what reminds them of Christ’s light.”

As she discussed her thoughts of prolonging the seasonal lights with senior pastor, the Rev. Larry Trotter, and senior associate pastor, the Rev. Wil Cantrell, the sermon series evolved, too.

The first week introduced the idea and explained the community connection. Ensuing sermons will cover “different ways Jesus is still our Light of life,” Manning said. “Each Sunday of our sermon series we will be focusing on the different ways Jesus is the light to all of us.”

The project is an especially meaningful current outreach for CUMC, as officials made the difficult decision in late December to discontinue in-person worship — after resuming it only two months ago — as COVID-19 has continued to be a threat to the community. In-person worship is tentatively scheduled to resume in March.

Anyone unable to physically come by the church to write on a star may contact Manning ( or senior adult ministries coordinator Joan De Tar (, who will put up stars for those interested in participating.

The trees are being lit nightly, and Manning said it is her hope they will be able to remain up through Ash Wednesday in February, which begins Easter season.