If you enjoy the tradition of Christmas Lights as much as I do, you can thank a man named Edward Johnson for that. He was Thomas Edison’s assistant, and he has the distinction of being called the ‘Father of Electric Christmas Tree Lights.’ One Christmas he had 80 red, white, and blue electric incandescent light bulbs the size of walnuts made especially for his Christmas tree. On December 22, 1882, Johnson invited the public to his home on 5th Avenue in New York City and proudly displayed his tree. The rest is history! As the electric light bulb started to be mass-produced and became affordable, Christmas lights invaded the darkness and illuminated homes across America.
The spiritual analogy should not be missed. Christmas lights symbolize Jesus, the true light, who gives light to everyone (John 1:9). He told his followers in no uncertain terms, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12). Christmas is a time to refocus and let our light shine. The world is a dark place, but we have the ability and the responsibility to bring the light to bear on that darkness, especially here in our own state of Rhode Island.
This past year the Family Policy Alliance of RI joined with the Ministry Training Network of N.E. to bring you the ‘Bible, Gender and Sexuality Conference.’ Many pastors and ministry leaders attended it and the feedback was tremendous. Dr. J. Alan Branch and Dr. Michelle Cretella were our main speakers, who addressed the theological and medical aspects of sexuality with a special focus on the rise of transgenderism amongst teens and young adults.
They covered these topics: Born this Way, Celebrating the Gift of Sex and Gender, Good News for Broken lives, and Transgender Belief: Healing Minds, Embracing Bodies, Saving Lives. A highlight of the conference was when Brenna Simonds shared her own very moving story of same sex attraction and leaving the LGBTQ lifestyle. She now leads a ministry called Alive in Christ that helps others do the same.
These six sessions were individually recorded and are available here for your viewing. Please watch them and share this helpful resource with others. I can assure you that these speakers shed immense light on these dark areas our culture that are affecting so many families. And they bring HOPE!
The Family Policy Alliance is networking with other organizations, legislators, and community leaders to strengthen the family. We have accomplished a lot this year and with your help we can do more in 2022. Because of a generous donor you can DOUBLE YOUR GIFT with a $150,000 Matching Grant. We can do more to make our state and our nation a place where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
From my family to yours, have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island