Friends- A lot of folks don't like November for some pretty good reasons.
NO warmth- the pleasant days of fall are passed. NO color- by the end of the month, everything is pretty much gray and brown. NO winter- it's an in-between month- too late for color, too early for the freshness and fun of snow. So a lot of people say NO to November!
I get it. November is probably no one's favorite month unless it is your birthday month, or unless you remember what is tucked away near the end of the month. Of course, I mean Thanksgiving. But by "remember", I don't just mean looking forward to a day for stuffing ourselves, seeing family, watching parades and football, and starting our Christmas shopping. I mean it in the larger sense- as in, we need to remember to be thankful every day. For every day God brings blessings and hope to those who seek him. And in fact, looking for blessings on days that seem sort of blah, helps us to be tuned in to God's presence and grace at all times.
It may be NOvember, but God’s word and his promises are always YES! to those who are his. "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Seek him, find him, rejoice! Even in November!
Have a great month! Gary
November Calendar Saturdays - 11/6 - Daylight Savings Time ends! Set your clock back 1 hour tonight! An extra hour to sleep!
Sundays - Every Sunday - Worship Service - 10:30 am at the church and via Zoom. 11/7 - Communion Sunday 11/21 - Thanksgiving Worship Service - Decorate the church for Advent/Christmas after the worship service. 11/28 - First Sunday in Advent
Tuesdays - 11/9 - Church Board Board Meeting via Zoom 7 PM
Wednesdays - Every Wednesday - Bible Study via Zoom - NEW TIME - 7:30 PM
Contact Gary for Zoom links: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other News- Communion - Communion Sunday is November 7. The communion elements will be provided. If you are coming via Zoom, please have your own ready if you wish to participate.
Decorating the Church - Plan on staying after church on November 21 to decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent starts the following Sunday. This is a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of Jesus.
Chili Cook-off - Thanks to all who came to our Second Annual Chili Cook-Off. It was a great night! Angela Green is our champion this year. Thanks to Mark Gray, Nikki Maurice, Mike McGinnis, and Ryland and Olivia Green for also bringing their delicious chili. Thanks to Nikki for providing a beautiful apron for the winner!
Bench - Check out the new bench in front of the church. It is a memorial to Margaret and Lyle Lamont. Thanks to the trustees for their work in purchasing and installing it.
Sympathies - We wish to extend our sympathies to Florence Fritsch on the death of her brother-in-law and to Leslie Quiggle on the death of her dad. Peace and comfort for all the families during these times.
Friends of the Children - Stop by the bulletin board and read the nice thank you for the money we sent to Friends of the Children. They were able to use it for earthquake relief.
Looking Ahead - Congregational Meeting - A short congregational meeting is always held on the first or second Sunday in December to make decisions on Gary's salary. Please plan on staying immediately after the service. The specific date will be announced after the November Board meeting.
There is much in my head and my heart as I sit down to write this letter. I have so much to be grateful for, and you all are part of that. Just today I was praying through the directory (I encourage you to do the same!) and I was remembering particular memories for many of you. Kinda fun! And poignant.
In this role of pastor, you never know what will happen next. The challenge is to keep my eyes on Jesus and let him lead me into the places he wants me (again, I encourage you to do the same!). The challenge is to not allow myself to get distracted, discouraged, or disinterested. How could I, when God is so full of love and purpose for us?
I appreciate you, individually and corporately. I long for each of us, and all of us to be fully what God intends. Thankfully, recently God reminded me that is above my pay grade. That's his business. Mine is to pray, love, and obey (again... well, you know...)
Here's to living life with you in Christ. What adventures will this month hold? Love you all! Gary
October Calendar Sundays - Every Sunday - Worship Service - 10:30 am at the church and via Zoom. 10/3 - Communion Sunday
Wednesdays - Every Wednesday. - Bible Study via Zoom - 7 PM
Thursdays - 10/14 Church board meeting via Zoom 7 PM
Contact Gary for Zoom links
Saturdays - 10/16 - Second Annual Chili Cook-off and Bonfire - 5 PM - Outside at the Greens' home - details below.
Other News: Worship Service - Our worship service will move inside this Sunday, October 3. If the weather cooperates later in the month we will try meeting under the oaks. We will send out an email if we are meeting outside, otherwise plan on being inside.
Communion - Communion Sunday is October 3. The communion elements will be provided. If you are joining us on Zoom, please have your own ready.
Mask Mandate - We are under an indoor mask mandate. That requires us to wear masks when we gather inside for worship or other meetings. Please join us to keep each other safe by wearing your masks.
Chili Cook-off and Bonfire - Do you like to have fun and like to eat? Are you competitive? Then plan on coming to the Second Annual Chili Cook-off and Bonfire on Saturday, October 16 at 5:00 PM outside at Stacy and Angela Greens' home. There will be a signup sheet at the church. We already have 2 people bringing chili, so we are looking for at least one more. We need other foods too, so sign up on the sheet. If you are wanting to come, but can't make it to church before then, just text or email Jennifer. Come hungry and we will vote for the best chili! We will have a bonfire as well. If the weather does not cooperate, we will move it to a different date, yet to be determined.
Offering - Thank you for being so faithful in bringing or mailing your offering during the pandemic. We will continue to collect your offerings in the back of the church or by mailing them to Nathalie Lyford. Remember you can designate your offering to the general fund, building fund, or benevolence/missions or any combination on the check or envelope.
Potato Tent - The Poplar Grove Methodist Church is having a drive-through baked potato tent the first three Sundays in October. They have done this in the past at Edwards Orchard. You can get all kinds of toppings on your potato. It goes from 11 - 6 or whenever they sell out. It is a fundraiser for their church. Think about supporting them and enjoy a good lunch at the same time. There are picnic tables outside there or you can take them home.
Wedding Wishes - Melissa Gallagher and Luis Pavez will be getting married on Saturday, October 30. Congratulations and best wishes to them!
Coin Collection - Keep collecting your coins in a jar! Our next collection for benevolence will be the last Sunday in December.
Every month when it's time to draft a letter for the newsletter, I need to comb my mind for what would be an appropriate topic. There is no shortage of things to write about. I really want to write about what matters most.
As I have thought about it this month, one question (you know how I love questions!) jumped out: How are you? I mean, how are you personally? How is your family? How is your work? What is good? What is bad? How are you? These are challenging times and everyone is impacted in some way.
And, as your pastor, but more as your friend, I would really like to know! I would love a text, an email, a call, or a chance to get together. Some of you I see weekly, some more frequently than that, but most less frequently, and some, hardly ever. And even if I see you, it doesn't mean that we get to talk. I'd love an update. I'd love to know how I can pray for you. If it's been a while, I'd love to talk.
But you will need to help me! I need to know if you want further conversation. So I'm throwing the ball in your court. If you will just respond to this in some manner, I promise I will respond to you.
Hope to hear from you soon! I wanted you to know that I do think of you, pray for you, and wonder... how are you? Let me know... Gary
Calendar Sundays - Every Sunday - Worship Service - 10:30 am at the church and via Zoom. 9/5 - Outdoor Worship and Communion Sunday (also another chance to bring your coins)
Tuesdays - 9/7 (this month only) Church Board Meeting via Zoom - 7 PM
Wednesdays - Every Wednesday - Bible Study via Zoom - 7 PM
Email Gary for Zoom links.
Other News - Worship Service - This Sunday, September 5 looks like a great day to meet outside under the oaks for church. Folding chairs will be available for you to set up, but bring your own if you prefer. We could use some help setting and taking down equipment.
Coin Collection - Thanks to everyone who brought their coins on Sunday, August 29th. We collected $139.87! In case you weren't there or just forgot, we will have the jar out again this Sunday, September 5. Our next collection will be the last Sunday in December. All the coins collected go towards benevolence. We are working on our kindness and goodness by helping others this way!
Communion - Sunday, September 5 is also Communion Sunday. The communion elements will be provided this week. If you are joining us on Zoom, have your own communion ready.
Mask Mandate - We once again are under an indoors mask mandate. That requires us to go back to wearing masks when we gather inside for worship or other meetings.
Offering - We will continue to gather our offering in the plate at the back of the sanctuary. For outside services, the plate will be on the table outside. Otherwise please mail it to Nathalie Lyford. Just a reminder that you can designate your money to go to the general fund, building fund, or benevolence, or any combination of those. If you wish to do that, just designate that on the check or envelope.
Facebook - Each week Gary will post a message on the church's page. It is posted sometime after Sunday morning. It is usually a shortened version of the morning's message.
Wedding Wishes - Ryland Green and Olivia Bishop will be getting married on Saturday, September 18. Congratulations and best wishes to them as they start out their new life together.
Sympathies - Our sympathies to Stacy and Angela Green and family on the sudden death of Stacy's mom in Missouri. We want to extend sympathies to Lois Murphy on the death of her sister, Betty. Also, former member Al Erickson died in August. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Gail. Please keep all these families in your prayers.
Friends at Caledonia- I am excited to let you know that at our recent board meeting, we agreed to attempt to gather us together for worship again! I know we have all been waiting for this! We will gather outside, under the oaks, on July 19 at 10:30am. (If it's bad weather, we will move the date to July 26)
Given that we still are living with the very real threat of the ongoing pandemic, here are the guidelines we need you to abide by for our coming together. - please everyone wear masks - bring your own lawn chairs - family groups can be together but we ask groups and individuals separate by a least 6 feet. - depending on our attendance, we hope to arrange in a circle, so we can see each other, and for maximum safety. - please use the restroom before you come, as the church building will not be open (cleaning issues) - please do not bring food - You all have been so good to continue to support the church in our time apart. Thank you! Please continue to send your support via mail to Nathalie. We won't take an offering. - If you are uncomfortable coming, feel free to stay away. - If you are at all ill, please stay away
I know this doesn't sound like our usual, rollicking Sunday mornings, but it is a start. We are not sure yet how often we will gather like this. We look for your feedback on or after the 19th, so we can know where we go from here.
We won't have songbooks, but will sing songs we know, if we can set up appropriately. I'll share a message, we'll pray, and I may invite you to share testimonies of God's faithfulness during these times. We will gather together, we will see one another, we will be able to talk to each other, and we can celebrate God's faithfulness through it all.
I love you all and I'm looking forward to seeing you on the 19th. Sorry for those of you whose summer plans won't let you join us. Don't worry! We'll be meeting again! If you have questions, please contact me or one of the board members. Gary