Christmas Message 2020- Gentle Streams of Hope

Dear Friends,

“We made it through!”

As 2020 comes to an end, we can at least tell ourselves that much. Hidden inside the sentiment are too many losses and so many challenges, but sometimes, “making it through”  signals the quiet triumph of the human spirit. Other than that, there is not a lot to shout about. An unknown virus brought us down. Disruption is now our new normal. Masks are our new uniform. Love at 6 feet is our new intimacy.

Recently I went to grab a morning coffee at my local Starbucks-CLOSED, have a pint at 2 of my favorite Irish Pubs, -both closed PERMANENTLY; have dinner at my favorite diner-CLOSED. Some industries like restaurants and travel have been Sorry We're Closed Business Sign Hours time we are Closed Store Signs | Indoor/Outdoor | 14" Talldecimated. For too many families, loss will overshadow their Christmas. Will we ever recover? We must believe we will, in order for us to keep going. People speak of hope as if it needs evidence, but real hope is an inside job. We arm our desire to shape the future we most long for.

That inner hope has driven scientists to develop vaccines in record time. And the change that will come to Washington DC 2021 has many in my circle breathing a little easier.  But we must feed that hope, like a mighty river needs the gentle streams that flow into it. May we all find the gentle streams of hope this Christmas, and claim the courage that got us all through. We will surely need that for the recovery task ahead.

If I am writing to you, it’s because I want to thank you for not giving up, for being one of those gentle streams of hope that have refreshed my life and our shared work. Yes, we made it through, because we made it through- TOGETHER.

Small streams and wetlands are key parts of river networks – here's why they need protectionBlessings and Peace be upon your family and friends. Lastly, can I ask your help for our brothers and sisters suffering in Gaza- Palestine, especially the young scholars at Gaza University who cannot finish their education unless they find scholarships. We have launched our Friends of Gaza U appeal here. Thanks to many of you who have already given.



Paul A Costello

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