There's a good vibe in the air as we enter the holiday week. We gather at the threshold of Thanksgiving....a celebration dedicated to the acknowledgement of blessings. You will appreciate various proclamations from every US President. Usually each contains a reflection unique to the times. Abraham Lincoln's in the midst of the American Civil War is compelling.Wherever you gather next Thursday, do so reverently and safely. Take stock of your life. Give thanks to your maker.
I wish I could have packaged all of our rain and sent a bulk of it to California. The grief and devastation there are awful. Wildfires on top of yet another mass shooting hurt. Many of those who have survived have few options. We stand together across the miles.
Tonight is movie night here at First Church. Max Lucado's "The Christmas Candle" will be shown free of charge and yes, the content is family friendly. You don't have to bring your own popcorn. It is free. Bring yourself and a friend.
Tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7:00 at the Roman Catholic Church on Hill Street is an ecumenical concert which includes our Bell Choir, a Gospel choir from King's Chapel, the Basilica Choir and guest musicians. No charge for this glorious music. Again, bring a friend and offer a ride to a neighbor who might need transportation.
Sunday worship. New members join. 2019 Pledges are dedicated. The choir sings the anthem "All Good Gifts". Linda Franklin, an active member of FPC and a spiritual leader of the Shinnecocks will give the Children's Message. The sermon is a reflection on Hannah's Song in I Samuel 2:1-10. Following worship you are invited to a light lunch in the Dining Room courtesy of the Finance Team. The agenda is brief, summarizing the financial life of our congregation at this point in our history. Plan to add your voice to "Come Ye Thankful People Come", "Now Thank We All Our God", and "Bringing In the Sheaves" as we dedicate our pledges and non perishable foods for neighbors in need. The most important hour of the week. Be here.
Unless you have been away or in hiding, you know about the multiple events the Advent-Christmas Season brings here at First Church. The worship bulletin is filled with announcements about things like the Christmas Bazaar on December 1st, The Even Song service with Choir and Bells on December 9. We try to have something for everyone. Enjoy what your church is doing in our preparations to celebrate Christ's Birth.
Thanksgiving Eve from 3:00 until 4:00 in the sanctuary I will welcome anyone who would like to use this time and space for prayer. We will have some Psalm readings and endeavor to ground our celebrations in the Faith we share. Cant stay for an hour? No problem. Come and go as you can, and as you are. That's Wednesday the 21st from 3:00 til 4:00 here.
Prayers for the Day or for Thanksgiving Day: Creator God, King of the universe, you give us the gift of food to nourish us and shape our life. Bless this food you have made and human hands have prepared. May it strengthen us physically and unite us as a family.
We remember those who have gone before. They bless us with legacies of faith. Help us uphold their gifts in the way we live. Watch over the sick and needy. Bring peace where conflict is rife. Let this peace begin with each of us. Amen.
Psalms 100, 121, 90 are great selections to precede your thanksgiving dinner.
See you in church. Have a great holiday!