November – 2017
I love this time of year!
I have so many reasons to love this time of year. One is the change of seasons, with fall being my favorite season, where the leaves turn to golden yellow, orange and red (and let’s face it, just outside the windows of our Fellowship Hall are some of the most glorious yellow/orange trees of the whole community!), and the weather cools but isn’t yet too cold, where we go back to school (I always loved going back to school and meeting new friends and learning new things) and friends come back from the far-flung places they were over the summer. With all these gifts, what’s not
to love about fall?
I also love November with its Thanksgiving holiday, where we gather with family and friends and share thanks for all God has given us. It’s the season where I have the best chance to have my favorite kind of pie, pecan. And even better yet, we give ourselves permission to start singing Christmas songs as soon as the turkey dinner is done.
The month of November is also the time we talk about what we value and how we show that we value such things. I love the way I am stretched by challenging questions like “How will you measure your life?” “What advice would you give your younger self?” “What do you most value in this life?”
What we value is reflected by where we spend our time, money and attention. We are called to be good stewards of all that we have been given. Stewardship is, at its heart, a question of what we are to do with all that God has entrusted to us. How are we good stewards of the land we are given to tend? How are we good stewards of the trust people have given us? How are we good stewards of the financial means God has given us?
We are asked, in this month, not only to give thanks for the fall harvest, but to give thanks for all that God has given us—abilities, friends, material things.
How do we, in a practical way, give thanks to the one who has given us our bodies, our abilities, our sense of humor, our intelligence, our very lives? How do we give thanks for all of that?
You will receive a mailing in the first week of November, with a letter that we hope you’ll read and a pledge card that we hope you’ll prayerfully consider filling out and bringing to church with you on Sunday, November 12. We also hope that you’ll prayerfully consider increasing your gift this year, as we consecrate the gifts we are giving back to God as a way of saying thanks for all that God has given us.
I’m glad that I’ve never heard from any member of this congregation “This congregation is always asking for money,” because that sort of statement doesn’t reflect the reality of the congregation; it reflects the reality of the person. People who make that comment, generally (though not always) are those who are uncomfortable with giving and who often give very little to the church.
Thank you for all the ways you give; thanks for being church.