From Pastor Tony

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We have come to the time of year celebrating and giving thanks for the abundance that God has given us.  This is the season in which we consider how we will respond to this divine bounty.

One of the books that our Healthy Church Initiative Leadership Team is reading is Becoming a Blessed Church: Forming a Church of Spiritual Purpose, Presence, and Power by N. Graham Standish.  In it, he asks some questions worth passing on to you.

How do you know what matters in life? How do you discern between what is important and what isn’t? There are a lot of demands in life, all of them shouting for our attention. What makes hearing God difficult is that God generally doesn’t shout out for our attention. God whispers. And because God whispers, it is easy for us to miss God’s call to pay attention to what really matters.

Perhaps you have heard God’s whisper as you have been a part of worship, Sunday school, Bible study, in a small group, or as you’ve prayed for persons in our church.  We can only hear these whispers of God if we take a moment or two and slow down, quieting our hearts so we can hear God.

As we enter November, the season of thanksgiving, please spend some time to prayerfully listen to God.  Look for the ways in which you and your family has been blessed by Jesus’ tender touch.  And give thanks.

And also consider how you will respond as our congregation moves into our future.  In November we will be considering the spiritual practice of extravagant generosity.  What does it mean to be extravagantly generous in our heart? Extravagantly generous with our love? Extravagantly generous as we consider the future ministry of our church – and how we express that in the ways in which we support our congregation.

This extravagant generosity is not only about financial promises, it is about how we live our lives.  Since June, we’ve been invited to join in prayer with United Methodists across Minnesota and North and South Dakota our “Prayer for Living Generously.”  I end with the last two bullet points of this prayer,

  • Boldly us me, without limits, delays or excuses, to live generously and serve the full arrival of your reign on earth.
  • Create in me a generous heart and a desire to live in your presence with ever-growing gratitude.  

I pray for this in the name of Jesus whose love, mercy, and justice know no bounds.  Amen.

As we live the truly abundant life and serve Jesus in this season of giving thanks to God,

May God Bless Us!

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