On this Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks for you. I thank God for your fervor in wanting to follow God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. I thank God for your faith that tells a story of God's goodness to you in many varied ways. I thank God for your singing voices on Sunday morning and your prayers throughout the week. I thank God that I get to share my life with you, through the pain and the tears and the joys and celebrations. Mostly, I thank God for bringing us together.
This Sunday we will begin the celebration of Advent. As this year's Advent Theme is Coming Home, I pray that as you return home following your Thanksgiving celebrations, you will take the time to come home to this place of welcome too. For gathered together, we not only ask the Lord's blessing, we also look forward to the coming of our Savior.
May you discover thanksgiving wherever you are today. And know that you are loved by this congregation and by God.
Grace and Peace.
Crowded With Gratitude
Our hearts are crowded with gratitude
as we celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving.
We have come to this our feasting table
with great joy and eagerness,
for we are truly grateful to you, our God,
for all that we have been given.
We pause now and, in silent prayer,
do thank you for the great generosity of Your gifts.
We also thank one another for gifts -
especially for the gifts of love and affection
that we have freely shared.
We are thankful
for all who are present at this our feast
as well as for all those who have labored in love
in order to bring this dinner to our table.
May You, our God, bless this Thanksgiving feast
and all of us who shall share it
in your holy name.
- Hays, Edward, Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home (Kansas: Forest of Peace Books, 1979), 122.
1st Sunday of Advent
3 p.m.: Church Decorating
For the Thanksgiving holiday, the office will be closed Thursday 11/25 and Friday 11/26.
2022 Directory Update
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Awake to Wonder
by Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity
Inspired by Luke 21:25-36 | Digital painting with collage
It is peculiar that we begin Advent with adult Jesus offering us a prophecy and parable filled with fear and mystery. This particular scripture is within a longer section of Jesus describing the coming destruction of the temple, a public statement that no doubt added to the conspiracies and plots stirring against him. The fate he speaks of is filled with terrifying details: the temple demolished, false prophets, wars and uprisings, food shortages, natural disasters, persecution, and epidemics (Luke 21:5-24). As we read these words now, this litany of fear and foreboding feels far too familiar—a bit too close to home.
When I began this series of visuals, I printed an architectural blueprint on a large piece of cardstock. Using acrylic paint, I added fluid strokes of blue, obscuring the white lines in the blueprint so that the plans for building a home would appear present but also blurred and concealed. I added hints of gold leaf, trying to emulate the texture of paint peeling from the exterior of a building. I then shifted to digital media, photographing the painting from a
number of angles and then drawing figures and details into my compositions with my stylus and iPad.
As I began this particular image, I imagined a scene of chaos and apocalypse. However, as I drew a woman lifting her head and reaching for the fig tree, I began to see a vision of beauty and hope, a glimpse of one’s whole being awake to wonder.
I think we all share a collective homesickness. It feels like nostalgia. It looks like the trauma hiding in our past. It can turn into foreboding fear that robs us of real joy. But in this image and in Jesus’ words, I see a call to resilience despite the difficult realities that confront us. I see a longing so deep that it keeps us reaching—for a home restored, for comfort renewed, for the fruit that is sure to come.
—Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity