As we reach the capstone of our fall series on “Abundance” this week, we turn to “Abundant Thanks” for Commitment Sunday. When I slow down enough to reflect as I ought, I realize that we have much for which to give God thanks. I feel for those who are furloughed or out of work. I feel for those who are wrestling with very real health challenges. I feel for those who are feeling “cooped up” after so many months of Covid-19. Yet I am aware of how many of us still have work, health, shelter, and family and how we are called to walk alongside one another in such times of grieving.
I certainly would never wish to minimize any of the above challenges. They are quite real in our midst, as several of our Temple Talk witnesses have made evident this fall. Yet I continue to stand in awe at the abundant sharing of prayers, money, and care that are evident among us, even amid so many experiencing various challenges and the stubborn hope that lies behind their sharing. In other words, I am personally grateful for much in this season. That certainly includes you!
I hope that you might perhaps feel the same way about your church. Yep, “church” looks and feels different during a pandemic. Sure, there is much that we miss and wish could be different. Yet I have seen and celebrated example after example of creativity, courage, flexibility, and continued investment as your witness remains bright. You’d be amazed to know all that we are still doing together despite COVID-19. As much as my perspective and perception can be challenging, your light continues to shine through. We’ll share some of where that is happening in our worship this weekend.
Some of that courage and flexibility will be evident again this Sunday. While we are consciously eliminating or minimizing all indoor ministries and gatherings, we are still:
Gathering Faith Promise forms through a “drive by” drop-in in the parking lot
Distributing study Bibles to SS youth
Sharing Sunday School through Zoom at 10:00 a.m.
Distributing creative kits that our families can use at home to highlight the coming Advent and Christmas seasons in the Family Experience scheduled for Wednesday evening at 6:30. The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5015045503 (all still outdoors from 8:30-12:00)
Inviting adults and youth to help us light outdoor trees for the Christmas season (10:30-12:00) and at other times by appointment
Working to communicate more regularly through our “Community Connection” ministry that your household may be invited to share; and
Last, but not least, hoping that many of you will participate in our Zoom “Finding Hope through the Holidays” event from 6:30-8:00 p.m. In a season that is so focused on joy, family, and children, many of us are struggling to share even one of those elements this year. You are not alone! Come share, learn, and listen, as we use the gift of our faith and our faith community to honor and express what is difficult to share in such a season. Don’t be shy – we really want you to take part. If you need assistance with Zoom or the needed technology in general, please let us know prior to the event and we will do our best to help you overcome the obstacles.
Our pre-recorded worship will still be available on-demand via the website on Sunday morning as well as a Facebook Live broadcast of the pre-recorded service at 9:00 a.m.