“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This morning I saw a post that said, “Stop what you are doing and find three things to thank God for.” Can you name three? I first thought of my mom – we are coming up on the ninth anniversary of her cancer surgery, and I am grateful every day she is still with us. I thought of you all and the joy you bring to my life. And then a ladybug landed on my window and I had to laugh. Back when I was in seminary, my roommate and I struggled with a ladybug invasion (I mean thousands in our house!!), and from then on, we’ve fake-screamed every time we see one. It’s a silly memory, but it reminded me to be thankful for all those memories we have with friends and family that can still make us smile.
Even taking that 30-second thankfulness break helped me turn my day in a different direction. We are surrounded by things to be thankful for, but how often do we rush by them and don’t even notice? We can be so quick to complain and slow to thank.
For the next three weeks, we are going to be looking at ways we can grow in gratitude. The Bible is full of reminders to live grateful lives. One of my favorites is 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Want to know what God’s will is for your life? Start with that command – give thanks, in all circumstances. And that is definitely easier said than done, especially in 2020!
This week, we will consider how gratitude shapes our worship. Next week, for Stewardship Sunday, we will look at how gratitude impacts our giving and how giving impacts our gratitude. And for the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we will think about how thankfulness impacts our whole life, whether at work, school, home, or play.
We will start this week with the familiar Psalm 136, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” The psalmist goes through a whole litany of things to thank God for, including creation, salvation, and the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery. This song of thanksgiving shaped the way the community worshiped together, and their worship shaped their understanding of God and also how they viewed the future. As they remembered what God had done in the past, they could grow in trust that God would provide for them in the future.
Consider keeping a list for the next three weeks of things you are thankful for. Put them on your refrigerator and get the kids involved. Text them to a friend. Write a thank you note to someone you appreciate. And especially start thinking of all the things God has done, even in the midst of this crazy year, to remind you that His steadfast love does indeed endure forever.
The Brookline Boulevard Food Pantry is in need of Pasta and Mac and Cheese and the Light of Life Ministry is in need of men’s socks and underwear. Donations can be dropped off at the church on Sunday or during the week from 8-4.
Stewardship Sunday November 15:
We are sending out our stewardship mailing with pledge cards and Time and Talent sheets this week. Additional copies will be available in the Narthex. Please be in prayer about how God is calling you to honor Him this year with your money and life.
The Giving Tree:
We will be putting up our Giving Tree next Sunday, November 15. We will have gift requests for children in need from the Brookline Food Pantry as well as for children in our church, KKCP preschool, and Jubilee. If you know of any children who would be blessed by a gift, please speak with Pastor Linda or call the church office at 412-531-3387 or email@example.com .
We are now offering in-person Sunday School for all ages. We only have three rooms in the church with enough space and ventilation to be able to gather safely, so we will only have three groups for now: Adults will meet in the sanctuary, Children in the Fellowship Hall, and Youth in the MacDonald Room. The unified adult class is sponsored by the Lamplighters and will be a hybrid format, so those who want to attend via Zoom will be able to do so. This is the link to log in at 11:15 - https://duq.zoom.us/j/97403542430 Pastor Steve will be leading the class, based on the Introduction to the Bible class he also teaches at Duquesne University. If you would like to be on the email list for the adult class, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org .
In addition to these Sunday School offerings, we have several small groups meeting online almost every day of the week, and we have groups for Tweeners, Middle School and High School, Young Adults, and coed groups, as well as the Lamplighters Sunday School class. The women’s group is studying 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and the men’s group are studying the Bible’s guidance about issues of race and justice. If you are interested in becoming part of one of these groups, please contact us at 412-531-3387 or email@example.com
Hour of Prayer:
A group of us gather on Zoom every Sunday at 7pm to pray together, and we would love to have you join us! You can use this link to connect from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92561964416?pwd=NmZoNDV3dDNqSVFubW82TEx0bll0Zz09 . You can also call in from a regular phone – dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the Meeting ID - 925 6196 4416 and add the password 798565. For more info, contact Pat Gaudio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, please let us know if there is any way we can support you or connect with you during this season. You can email us at email@example.com, with any needs, prayer requests, or just updates on how you are doing. And you are always welcome to call us at 412-531-3387.