Nov 17-24, 2021

Rev. Tom Willetts
The Church Office will be closed on
Thursday & Friday for THANKSGIVING
DEVOTION
Give Thanks - A song written by Henry Smith and published in 1978 is one of my favorite songs at this time of year. The lyric is:
Give Thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.
 
And now let the weak say, “I am strong,”
Let the poor say, “I am rich,”
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give Thanks!...

Religions and cultures across the world celebrate days of thanksgiving. Usually, they are connected to the fall harvest of crops. Everyone is thankful they have food and will survive the bleak and desolate winter season. This was part of the motivation for the Pilgrims and Puritans in their thanksgivings in the 1620’s. They were thankful because they had plenty. Many days of thanksgiving were observed in the U.S. on various days and for various reasons. Our modern Thanksgiving was started by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 with a proclamation that all states observe a single day of National Thanksgiving. The proclamation outlines that Thanksgiving was “explicitly in celebration of the bounties that had continued to fall on the Union and for the military successes in the war, and also explicitly in "humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience."[30] Because of the ongoing Civil War, a nationwide Thanksgiving celebration was not realized until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s.” (Wikipedia). Franklin Roosevelt changed the date to help the economy by extending the holiday buying season.

The song lyric stands in contrast to the typical motivations for thanksgiving that history records. There is no mention of having food, or military conquest, or buying gifts. There is one reason to give thanks –
Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”
We are to give thanks not because of what we have accomplished, not because of what we have received, but because of what God has given to all of humanity. While Jesus Christ is the fullest expression of God’s love for us, Jesus is not the first expression of God’s love. From the Old Testament we can read, 1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV) 34 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” This verse is repeated throughout the Psalms and the Prophets and by Paul in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the manifestation – incarnation of God’s love for us.

As disciples of Jesus, we can give thanks, not for our profits, our power, our prestige, our privilege, but because God loves us and God’s love endures for all of time and through all of our sins and failures. We can repent and return to God because of God’s enduring love. We can be thankful for God each and every day.

Our strength nor our wealth are indicative of our quality or quantity of thanksgiving. We can be grateful to God in all situations and at all times for God’s enduring love for us. That is the foundation of our thanksgiving.

Enjoy family and friends in the coming days of Thanksgiving Celebration. Be thankful for them and for time spent together. Give thanks to God for them and love and forgive and show mercy to one another as God has loved, forgiven and been merciful to each one of us. Blessings, Pastor Tom

COVID-19 UPDATE
With the decreasing infection rates of Covid 19 in Lee County the Lee Health System has stopped giving updates. Lee County is a YELLOW area, meaning moderate infection rates – (approximately 3.3%). Covid is not gone, but as a broad public health threat it is manageable. 64.1% of the population over 12 years old is fully vaccinated. 85.6% over 65 is vaccinated. Good Shepherd Church is committed to the safety and health of all our members and attenders. Safe for our bodies, minds and spirits as we gather to love God and care for one another. We will continue to follow these guidelines:

Good Shepherd UMC - Commitment to being Safe Space
Please Wear Masks.
Please Practice Social Distancing.
Please Vaccinate and Get Booster.
Medically Vulnerable and At-Risk persons participate in ministry.
We can care for them and ourselves.
All are welcome to come Love God and Serve Others.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS 
Mon– Thurs 9am – 2:00pm
CLOSED FRIDAYS

Thur & Fri - Nov 25th & 26th
OFFICE CLOSED for Thanksgiving
I want to thank everyone who helped with the craft fair and bake sale. Twas left me with lots of good information. This is the first time I have chaired this but it was so many of you that made it all happen. You gave ingredients, time and money.
I want to thank Chef Keith Hand, Donna Michel and many bakers for a successful bake sale. Tom Cleland was here every day and led the set up and reset crews along with a small army of friends. Helen Foster was also here every day and helped me every step of the way. There were so many of you that helped bake, set up, reset, and donate that I can't begin to name all of you. This is the most generous, giving and caring congregation I have ever seen. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Blessings, Vicky Carnevale
MEETINGS, DEADLINES, EVENTS & INFORMATION
  • Wed. Nov 17th Grief Share/Chapel 1:30pm
  • Wed Nov 17th 6:30pm SPRC virtual training
  • Thursdays - 9am - Handbell Rehearsal - Rm 3
  • Thursdays - 1pm Ephesians Bible Study "The Foundation of the Gospel" Conf Rm A
  • Thursdays - 3pm - Choir rehearsal/Chapel
  • GREEN FOOD BAGS - RETURN ALL BAGS BY SUNDAY, NOV 21ST
  • No Alzheimers mtg this Friday, Nov 19
  • Mondays 10am SEWING GROUP - Worship Center-Room 1
  • THUR & FRI - Nov 25 & 26 OFFICE CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING
  • Friday, Nov 26th - 9am - HANGING OF THE GREENS
  • Mon., Nov. 29 - 1pm FINANCE
  • Tues., Nov 30 - 10am Leadership Team
GREEN BAGS FOR
THANKSGIVING
Fill 100 Bags for Thanksgiving.
Bags are available at church and have a food list included.
$15 buys a turkey and for $35 we will shop for you. Please pick-up and fill a bag today. Return Bags by Nov 21st.
CLICK ON VIDEO
GRIEF SHARE PROGRAM
Help and hope as you navigate the Christmas season
Wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas? Are you dreading these holidays, knowing that everything has changed and that happy memories from past years can’t be recreated?

Our Surviving the Holidays seminar is especially for people who are grieving a loved one’s death. You’ll learn:
  • How to deal with the many emotions you’ll face during the holidays
  • What to do about traditions and other coming changes
  • Helpful tips for surviving social events
  • How to discover hope for your future

SIGN UP TO ATTEND
WED., NOV 17TH AT 1:30PM
OR
WED., DEC 8TH AT 10AM
PLEASE SIGN UP TO LIGHT THE ADVENT CANDLES - WE NEED TWO PEOPLE AT EACH WORSHIP SERVICE.
Please sign up to help
deliver poinsettias and a Christmas Cards
to our
Homebound Members.
Deliveries will start
after Worship on Dec 12th.
NEW WOMEN'S STUDY COMING
NOVEMBER THRU MARCH
   This season’s women’s study is based on the booklet, Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship, by Darryl W. Stephens, $10. It is a larger book than last year’s but I participated in the Zoom study for United Methodist Women from all over Florida, over two days, led by Pastor Lia and she broke it down very well, which will help us receive the message of the book. It has four timely subjects that we will cover in four sessions on November 22nd, January 24th, February 28th and March 28th at 1pm, in the Chapel of the Ministry Center. 
    At the November meeting, Beth will have fellowship after the summer break and facilitate the introduction and summary of the study. Now the exciting news! In January, February and March, we are fortunate that Pastor Lia will lead the study. To join the study, call Beth Ferris at 920-839-9648. Starting on November 1st, at 239-543-6295. Hope you join the study and we will order the book for you.  Beth Ferris 
WORSHIP SCHEDULE - THRU DECEMBER
Saturday 4:45 PM - CHAPEL OF MINISTRY CENTER
Sunday 10:00 AM - SANCTUARY OF WORSHIP CENTER
NO SERVICES - Sat. Dec 25 or Sat. Jan 1st.
Online - Sunday Morning on Facebook & YouTube.

Find us at: Facebook.com/goodshepherdumc.org.
OR on YouTube: Good Shepherd UMC NFM. PLEASE press SUBSCRIBE (at no cost or obligation to you) then please share our posts to others we will become easier for others to find.

2022 NEW WORSHIP SCHEDULE ON SUNDAYS
Starting Jan, 9th, 2022 WE GO TO TWO SERVICES
Sunday Worship at 9am AND Sunday Worship Service 10:30am
Sunday School at 9am
CHECK OUT OUR
WEBPAGE!
www.goodshepherdumc.org

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please call us at 239/543-2686.
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church | 239/543-2686
2951 Trail Dairy Circle, North Fort Myers, FL 33917 goodshepherdumc.org
OFFICE HOURS MON-THUR 9-2PM