Bishop Reed introduced the theme for the year, “The Word is very near to you” from Deuteronomy 30.
“The people of God are preparing to enter the Promised Land, and they are paused there for a long time—the first 30 of the 34 chapters of Deuteronomy—as Moses gives them final reminders for taking to heart all that God has spoken to them in the wilderness. They are
rehearing—rehearsing—the Word of the Lord. And Moses says, “Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you this day is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear and observe it?’ No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” (30:11-14)
In keeping with the theme, the bishop called on the diocese to read the Bible in its entirety during this year.
“We will practice some during Council, and then I hope you’ll be encouraged to encourage fellow church members back home to join you in this, so that we may all gain confidence that the Word of God is not elusive or obscure or far-off, but very near, and that we can not only hear it, but “do it,” responding faithfully to what the Lord is saying.”