I didn't sleep much last night. Late-night election coverage, general anxiety, and 34 weeks of pregnancy really conspired against me on that front.
And, I know that I am not alone in feeling tired. In the wake of national and international events, there is some cause to feel uncertain, anxious, and frustrated. Regardless of how you label yourself politically, it's likely that you have felt any one (or all) of those emotions over the last months.
I feel blessed to be part of a community like Grace UMC, where people from a wide range of backgrounds and belief systems can feel at home in our church family. This morning, I am reminded once again that, regardless of where our hopes and our votes fell yesterday, we are a people united by our faith in the God whose very nature is love. Together, we are a people called to the difficult work of healing and binding up. We are a people called to offer peace where there is strife and hope when there seems only to be darkness. We are a people called to offer God's shalom.
As we, and our nation, heal from what has been a divisive and damaging election cycle for all sides, I invite each of you to be in prayer - for our country, for our state, for our city, and for our church. If you would like to do so in a sacred space, you are encouraged to visit one of our partner churches as they hold space for reflection and prayer.
- New Church Atlanta UMC (1561 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307) will open its sanctuary from 5:00 - 7:00 PM this evening for candle lighting and corporate and individual prayer.
- St. Mark UMC (781 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308) will open its sanctuary for prayer during business hours today. Both churches are within 5 minutes of Grace and welcome us with open arms.
So, I leave you with these words of prayer from St. Francis of Assisi.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
May St. Francis' words echo the desires of our hearts today and all days.
The Vision at Grace
our surrounding community, spiritually and physically, while
outward with God's love and intentionally
all in the name of Christ.
TONIGHT - Wednesday, Nov. 9
Women's Group (Bible study and fellowship), 7pm, Calissa's home
FINAL gathering for 2016
Sunday, November 20
GBGM Earthkeepers Commissioning celebration (during worship)
Grace Annual Pie Bake-off (after worship)
Needles & Prayers, 7pm
Wed., Nov. 23 - Fri., Nov. 25
Church office closed for Thanksgiving
Saturday, November 26
Greening of Grace, 9am
Sunday, November 27
First Sunday of Advent
Church Council Meeting, 6:30pm, Grace Cafe
BRING YOUR WHOLE-SELF TO WORSHIP
THIS Sunday, November 13th, Grace will have a worship service that is focused around
accessibility, with specific attention to how people who are differently abled are included in the congregation and encouraged to participate in worship. How do you come to worship? What aspects of the service allow you to participate fully in worship?
Ministry Intern Emily Ripley invites us all to a conversation around these questions. If you would like to participate in planning the service, or would just talk about how worship is accessible or could be more accessible for you, please email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or come chat with her before the service on Sunday in the Grace Cafe.
Sharing Our Gifts
Give to Grace. Safe, secure, one-time or recurring, tax-deductible giving is available by visiting www.graceonponce.org/donate or by scanning the below QR code.
Your gifts make a difference in the lives of our church and community.
And remember that Grace's financial documents are open and available. Simply email our financial assistant, Nora Harris (email@example.com) with any questions you may have.
Thank you for your faithful support of the work that God is doing through Grace Church!