The Sydney Community Gathers to Open the Season of Lighting the World

News Release
 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sydney hosted a Christmas Lights Reception to launch the Church's 'Light the World' initiative and to officially switch on the lights for the Christmas display at the Church’s Temple grounds in Carlingford.

Local government leaders and representatives of charity organisations attended the reception, including Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson of the City of Parramatta, Councillor Christine Tuon of Willoughby Council, Mr. Damien Tudehope MP and  Mr. Jose Vasquez Rivas, Honorary Consul of the Republic of El Salvador in Sydney. 

In line with the theme of ‘Give as Jesus Gave’, Mr. Brian Egan from Aussie Helpers addressed the audience on the struggles of farmers this season due to current droughts and encouraged those present to remember our farming community during this season of giving. Mr. Egan especially urged people to remember the adolescents who are affected by drought because they are often forgotten. As a farmer himself who had experienced hardships, Mr. Egan expressed that, “It was reaching out to other famers in need and going out to see them that saved my life.”

Mr. Mark Scotto, Melkite Catholic, praised the generosity of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ after he received hygiene packs that were assembled by the Church's Claremont Meadows Ward (congregation) on behalf of his charity group, Works of Mercy. More than 250 packs were collected and most of these were presented to Mr. Scotto at the reception by the bishop of the Claremont Meadows Ward, Glenn Karaka.

The Christmas Lights reception also ushered in the Spirit of Christmas with music performed by members of the Summer Hill Ward (congregation) and full-time missionaries of the Church .

The Lord Mayor’s brief remarks to the audience echoed the message of ‘Light the World.’  Mr. Wilson challenged people to serve others, and to show kindness and Christlike attributes. President Leo Gomez of the Sydney Liverpool Stake (diocese) followed with an invitation for everyone to display the qualities that Jesus Christ displayed during His mortal ministry and to be 'a good Samaritan' in the ways we serve each other over the 25 days before Christmas.

After the reception, guests watched the official 'switch-on' and illumination of the Christmas lights at the Temple grounds by President Gomez and the Lord Mayor. The Christmas lights, artworks depicting the life of Jesus, and nativity displays on the Sydney Temple grounds have become an annual holiday tradition that is enjoyed by the community each December.

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