I find it hard to believe that we are already halfway through Fall (my favorite season!) and less than a month away from Thanksgiving and the start of Advent. If you have been in worship or listening to my weekly messages in recent weeks, you know that I have been doing a sermon series based on the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” It will conclude on November 6th and, I don’t know about you, but I have found it a fun way to approach talking about money, which is a difficult subject for many of us to discuss. And yet, as I pointed out in the first week of the series, it’s a topic about which Jesus had a fair amount to say.
Money is also a subject we talk about every year at this time, as the Session works on a budget for the coming year and looks carefully at where the money of the church is coming from, where it is going, and how we can all be good – and better – stewards of it. Those conversations are indeed underway, and a stewardship letter with a pledge card will be arriving in members’ mailboxes soon. A congregational meeting will be held one Sunday in December (date TBD), at which the 2023 budget will be presented and you will have an opportunity to hear, ask questions about, and vote on the proposed terms of my call.
This is a busy month. In fact, this is the start of a couple of busy months. Not only are Thanksgiving and Advent just weeks away, but Christmas and New Year’s will be fast on their heels. And we all know what those holidays involve, don’t we?!!? They are busy times, and I hope they will be full of love, family, laughter, and joy for each and every one of you. For, as I’ve been saying each week with our series – we live in a world full of wonder, and it IS a wonderful life!
God blesses us abundantly every single day; and we can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste many of those blessings without giving them a whole lot of thought. With every breath, we are blessed with the gift of life. With every sound of the birds, someone’s laughter, or the voices of children playing, we are blessed with the gift of sound. With every beautiful sunrise or sunset and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees, we are blessed with the gift of sight. With every hug, gentle pat, or hand that we hold, we are blessed with the gift of touch. With every bite of a favorite food or sip of a favorite beverage, we are blessed with the gift of taste. And, with the smells of this time of year, like bonfires and warm soups in the crockpot, we are blessed with the gift of smell. And these blessings don’t even include the ones of friends and family members who call, write, text, and visit; and the comfort of a faith the sustains in all things.
We have a lot to be thankful for, and I hope our reflections on “It’s A Wonderful Life” have helped us think about that in some new ways. I also hope they will shape the way we consider sharing our gifts in the weeks, months, and year ahead, whether they are financial, material, time, or energy. It continues to be a gift to be your pastor, and I give thanks to God for you and this wonderful call. Have a great month.
Grace and Peace,