23 NOV 2016
This Week at Grace

Taking a Moment to Be Thankful
Dear Grace,

On this day before Thanksgiving, I am sure that many of you are busy. Perhaps you are frantically trying to finish up work, so that you can go home to family. Possibly, you are making those inevitable, last-minute grocery runs. Or, maybe you're already on the road to visit family.
 
It's hard to find a minute to breathe, much less take stock of the blessings that we have experienced this year!
 
In my own busy days, I have been doing a lot of preparation-for the season of Advent, for a ministerial transition here at Grace, for the arrival of my first child. And, in the midst of that preparation, I encountered a prayer of gratitude that took my breath away. It made me stop, if only for a moment, and reflect on God's gracious presence in the stuff of life.
 
Those of you who were with us in worship on Sunday may recognize this prayer, but it was just too beautiful not to share with you again. I hope that you experience this "Thanksgiving Prayer" from Howard Thurman as a blessing, as together we mark a day of gratefulness for God's care and love.
 
Today, I make my Sacrament of Thanksgiving.
I begin with the simple things of my days:
Fresh air to breathe,
Cool water to drink,
The taste of food,
The protection of houses and clothes,
The comforts of home.
For all these, 
I make an act of Thanksgiving this day!
 
I bring to mind all the warmth of humankind that I have known:
My mother's arms,
The strength of my father
The playmates of my childhood,
The wonderful stories brought to me from the lives
Of many who talked of days gone by when fairies
And giants and all kinds of magic held sway;
The tears I have shed, the tears I have seen;
The excitement of laughter and the twinkle in the
Eye with its reminder that life is good.
For all these I make an act of Thanksgiving this day
 
I finger one by one the messages of hope that awaited me at the crossroads:
The smile of approval from those who held in their hands the reins of my security;
The tightening of the grip in a simple handshake when I
Feared the step before me in darkness;
The whisper in my heart when the temptation was fiercest
And the claims of appetite were not to be denied;
The crucial word said, the simple sentence from an open
Page when my decision hung in the balance.
For all these, 
I make an act of Thanksgiving this day.
 
I pass before me the main springs of my heritage:
The fruits of labors of countless generations who lived before me,
Without whom my own life would have no meaning;
The seers who saw visions and dreamed dreams;
The prophets who sensed a truth greater than the mind could grasp
And whose words would only find fulfillment
In the years which they would never see;
The workers whose sweat has watered the trees,
The leaves of which are for the healing of the nations;
The pilgrims who set their sails for lands beyond all horizons,
Whose courage made paths into new worlds and far off places;
The saviors whose blood was shed with a recklessness that only a dream
Could inspire and God could command.
For all this, 
I make an act of Thanksgiving this day.
 
I linger over the meaning of my own life and the commitment
To which I give the loyalty of my heart and mind:
The little purposes in which I have shared my loves,
My desires, my gifts;
The restlessness which bottoms all I do with its stark insistence
That I have never done my best, I have never dared
To reach for the highest;
The big hope that never quite deserts me, that I and my kind
Will study war no more, that love and tenderness and all the
inner graces of Almighty affection will cover the life of the
children of God as the waters cover the sea.
All these and more than mind can think and heart can feel,
I make as my sacrament of Thanksgiving to Thee,
Our Father, in humbleness of mind and simplicity of heart.
 
Blessings,
Calissa


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The Vision at Grace
To feed our surrounding community, spiritually and physically, while reaching outward with God's love and intentionally welcoming all in the name of Christ.

Calendar

 
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

Thursday, December 8
Church Council Meeting, 6:30pm, Grace Cafe

Tuesday, November 22
Needles & Prayers, 7pm

Sunday, November 27
First Sunday of Advent - Keep Awake!

Sunday, December 4
Dauterman Baby Shower, following worship, Grace Cafe

Thursday, December 8
Church Council Meeting, 6:30pm, Grace Cafe

Saturday, December 10
HELP Ministry, 9am - 11am, Middle Parking Lot

Tuesday, December 13
Needles & Prayers, 7pm

Saturday, December 17
Rehearsal for Children's Christmas Pageant, 9:30am, Sanctuary

Sunday, December 18
Children's Christmas Pageant, 11am, Sanctuary


Ministry Spotlight

HELP US WELCOME BABY DAUTERMAN!

Join us Sunday, December 4th, immediately following the service,for a baby shower honoring Calissa and Michael Dauterman. We will gather in the Grace Cafe to share in their joy and expectation, preparing for the arrival of a baby girl .

Everyone is welcomed! The Dautermans are registered at Target and with Amazon. Additional details: Sarah Brown or Shelly Hart (office at graceonponce dot org).


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 (nharris@graceonponce.org) with any questions you may have.

Thank you for your faithful support of the work that God is doing through Grace Church!



GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
458 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
404-876-2678

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