Keeping In Touch With Your Church Family
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Well, the holiday season is just around the corner, and it can be a delightful time of the year filled with opportunities to gather with friends and family, to share in good times and good food. It can also be a stressful time with all the planning, shopping, and traveling it can entail. Perhaps a major way in which we can deal with all that stress is keep ourselves focused on the underlying meaning of all the festivities – offering thanksgiving for the many blessings we have, recounting the days of waiting as Joseph and Mary wend their way to Jerusalem, and , finally, celebrating the birth of the Messiah. As the saying goes we have to keep focused on “the reason for the season”.
As a congregation we will mark the season beginning with our annual Thanksgiving Sunday feast (Nov.19), followed by our traditional lightings of the Advent Candles, then, because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, we will have our special service that morning.
Take note that the time for the Hanging of the Greens has changed. The transporting of the greens will take place on Saturday, Nov. 25, and we will hang the greens on Sunday, Nov.26, immediately following the service. All are invited to help out!
Enjoy the season!!!
THANKSGIVING LUNCH will be this coming Sunday November 19, immediately following worship in JMH. Bring a dish to share. Everyone is welcome.
HANGING OF THE GREENS has been changed. The new dates are Saturday Nov 25, at Noon for bringing the decorations over from the Thrift Store, with the actual Hanging of the Greens following Worship on Sunday Nov 26, we hope to have a good turnout for both events. Many hands make light work.
MISSION A special offering will be received next Sunday for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Donors who would like cards announcing their support can obtain these from Mission Board members at Coffee Hours beginning Nov. 26. This is a great way to simplify your Holiday shopping as well as helping CIW.
THE CHURCH OFFICE will be closed on Thursday Nov 23, and Friday Nov 24, for Thanksgiving.
HONOR SOMEONE SPECIAL or a special event in your life by giving Sunday bulletin covers. There is a sign-up sheet in JMH. Cost is approximately $10. What a great way to celebrate a special life or event!
SEEKING FELLOWSHIP HOUR HOSTS we are in need of people to host fellowship hour. This is a special time after worship to spend time socializing with our Church family. It is also a good time to welcome and get to know visitors to our Church. Coffee is provided. Please sign up on the sheet in JMH.
SEEKING LITURGISTS There is a signup sheet in JMH if you would like to be liturgist.
SEEKING CLICKERS We are in need of anyone who would like to help out with clicking for the Worship service. Please check in with the office if this is something you feel you can do.
"You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." – Genesis 2:16b-17
"Kertyschoo!" sneezed naughty Peter as he hid from the angry gardener, Mr. McGregor, in Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Charming as that sneezy word is, I don't usually find sneezes adorable. I get sneezed on by far too many little ones (such as my own), oblivious to the peril of contagion. A sneeze becomes a warning, a sign of danger ahead.
So too for Beatrix Potter. Peter has ignored his mother's admonition not to graze in the garden where his father had been snared and baked into a pie. But the carrots, the radishes were irresistible! And then…Kertyschoo! A sneeze gives his hiding place away. Big trouble is soon to follow.
How many times has God warned us away from tempting gardens? But we go anyway. Out of habit, without thinking it through, following our friends, our culture, our greedy appetites, we're always feasting on other people's bounty.
At "the time of the evening breeze" they hid from shame, as the fruit they consumed ate away at their consciences. They did not know what to do with their shame.
Hiding in the bushes from the One who would come to walk with us, I wonder this:
What's our sneeze? What is it that gives away our hiding place?
What would it take for us to err and…come forward? Unafraid of our God?
Maybe the largest offense was not their disobedience, but their lack of trust. What if they had owned up to their error? What if they had stood together and copped to their mistake? What if, rather than pointing the finger, or hiding, Adam, Eve, Peter, any of us, stood brave and tall and asked for forgiveness?
Are you hiding from God?
Are you ready to give up your hiding place?
Creator God: you made us from love and you save us with love. Thanks be to you. Amen.