Buddha Shakyamuni said in the Sutra on Offering Lamps:
These are the results of offering lamps:
You will not lose consciousness at death.
You will illuminate all directions.
You will see fine things never before seen.
You will definitely be reborn in a higher state
And take your seat among the enlightened beings.
Many such benefits are described in sutras and tantras. Through the centuries, light has been a powerful symbol and substance. Light creates warmth and connection; light inspires hope, love, and life.
We would like to invite and welcome everyone to join us in KTC Jacksonville’s annual First Light Offering for World Peace ceremony, to be held Monday, January 1st 2018 at 10:30 am.
First Light is a special day initiated by our parent monastery KTD in the new year 2000.  First Light has been held on January 1st by KTD, and KTCs all around the world, every year since. This year, we will once again gather to hold First Light, a ceremony through which we make aspirations, dedications, offerings, and prayers for world peace and the happiness of all beings in this upcoming New Year. We will hold an Amitabha Practice, followed by a light offering ceremony dedicated to those we may wish to remember who have passed away, those who are ill, and all beings who may suffer. Each participant will have the opportunity to light a candle for his or her own loved ones, make aspirations, or offer prayers.
First Light is also an auspicious occasion to renew our commitment to practice for the benefit of all sentient beings & to make offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as represented by our shrine. Making offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is considered highly meritorious and an effective way of removing obstacles.
Participants are encouraged to bring individual offerings: particularly flowers, fruit, sweets, baked treats, or monetary offerings. This too is considered especially meritorious. We ask that those bringing offerings please try to arrive around 9:30 am in order for offerings to be placed and the shrine properly prepared by volunteer shrinekeepers. 
Following the ceremony we will hold a vegetarian potluck luncheon to which all are welcome.  Please feel free to bring a vegetarian dish of your choice. 
We will also have tickets available for the Winter Raffle Fundraiser to raise funds for the KTC during the upcoming year. The winner will be picked during the luncheon.
You do not have to be Buddhist to attend.
We welcome all interested in learning more about Buddhism.

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