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Dear faith community,
           
Thanksgiving is quickly becoming one of the most overlooked holidays of the year. I remember when I was a child my father had a strict no Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. That tradition is a thing of the past and to be honest I do not even follow that rule anymore. My family puts up our tree before Thanksgiving every year, and even ‘Black Friday’ deals start on Thanksgiving instead of Friday. As each generation gets older, they bring with them the culture of needing answers now. That is because they have access to the entire world in their pockets with smart phones. We are then left with trying to squeeze in one meal every year with loved ones. My prayer for all of us this year is that we take time before we leave the house, or before everyone comes to our house and be thankful that we get the opportunity to sit down to a meal together. To prepare ourselves mentally for the experience that is Thanksgiving. The meal should not be the only experience that happens on Thanksgiving, the entire holiday should be celebrated as the day above all days we say thanks for what we have, and say thank you to everyone around our table. Colossians 3:15 teaches us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” This year we have a special opportunity to give to ministries that are in our community and neighboring communities as we celebrate being part of the one body. The finance committee has decided to have our Thanksgiving gift go to the LifeLine Toledo UMC Ministry and to our churches general fund.

LifeLine Toledo is a phenomenal new way of looking at church. Pastor Steve North will be here November 10 th to share the word with us and to talk about the ministry of LifeLine Toledo. Here is a little bit of what they do. LifeLine exists to help bring about the Kingdom of God in Toledo through building and facilitating organic spiritual community in the inner city, and by mobilizing its people and other resources to help lift the city out of poverty. Through collaborative mission efforts, they bring transformation to individuals, organizations and systems. We see the body of Christ fully restored to its organic roots, missional heart and spiritual power, reflecting God's love for the world. In our corner of the world, this looks like urban micro churches in neighborhoods, indigenously led, and highly responsive to the needs of the communities in which they exist. It mobilizes the resources of transformed humanity to engage the pain of a world still waiting for its redemption to be realized. Lifeline has Community Dinners at a shared table with people from every walk of life, with an open mic for musicians and poets, bridging issues that normally divide, and learning to live together with more dignity and respect for every human being without exception. They provide Mobile Medical Ministry, which is a mobile clinic converted from a coach tour bus, and travels and serves people who do not have access to health care. All volunteer doctors, nurses, EMT’s, etc. serve all, including people who are homeless or indigently poor, migrant workers, refugees, and others. We use social enterprise to help create systemic solutions to the problem of poverty, and to generate financial sustainability for our ministries. This includes helping people to start cottage industries, online thrift store, and our newest and farthest-reaching enterprise: Go.Love.Coffee Roasting Company .

During this Thanksgiving season I pray that you will consider making a donation to LifeLine Toledo and an above and beyond gift to our Churches General Fund.

In Christ’s name,

Kent Winkler, Pastor

P.S. You may also give online by visiting our website at www.woodvilleumc.net , and clicking donate now.