eCare - Thanksgiving Day 2015

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eCare - Thanksgiving Day 2015

Dear Friends in Christ,

Greetings to you from Raleigh, NC where we are visiting Becca and Matt and our two year old granddaughter Bebe! We’ve just returned from the Thanksgiving feast at Bebe’s daycare center. As I’ve always asked, ‘why spend time with one toddler who is excited, overtired and has a runny nose when you can spend time with 10 children in the same condition?’!. Bebe now naps and the house is quiet and calm for a few moments.

Mary and I will be in Raleigh until Friday morning so we’ll miss the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving Day worship with you. Though I usually do not give testimony at that service, preferring to yield the time to many in the congregation who wish to speak, I will miss hearing words of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord for His wondrous goodness to individuals, families and our church family during the past year.

Nonetheless, I’d like to offer my words of thanksgiving in this format for the bountiful blessings the Lord has bestowed upon our congregation. It’s impossible to elaborate on each item though that would be extremely easy to do. The expanse of God’s goodness and grace, however, is broad as it is deep and my heart overflows with praise to Him.

So, in no particular order I thank God for our Staff Leadership Team; our childcare workers; those who teach our children from the earliest days of their lives; the long-time members of our congregation for their faithfulness and example to all; the elder leadership on our Session; our student ministries volunteers; those who weekly engage us in worship with voice, instruments and leadership; our servants on the Board of Deacons; those with whom we partner in missions, both near and far; our adult Christian Education teachers; those who take living as the light, salt and leaven of the kingdom of God, seriously; all of our committee and team members; the little ones who brighten our lives and their parents who make thoughtful plans, hard decisions and strong commitments to ensure that their children will learn and grow in the Lord through participation in the ministry of our church; those who understand technology and building maintenance issues and keep us operational; my high school Sunday School class; those who help us exercise good stewardship over our congregation’s assets; those who know what gifts and talents they have and who use them in the support of our church programming and the advance of the kingdom of God; those who have been blessed with great financial resources and the gift of effulgent generosity; those with relatively meager financial resources who give sacrificially and who, through the economics of the kingdom of God provide so much more than simple math can calculate; the robust bass section; for those who encourage regularly, pray mightily and thank heartily; for all who make Beverly Heights a church that is warm, nurturing, friendly, restorative, redemptive and fun…thank you heavenly Lord!

As an antidote to your tryptophan hangover this weekend keep in mind:

  • This Sunday isBeverly Heights Together, one worship service at 11 AM preceded by Sunday School at 10 AM andLinger Longer(coffee fellowship) at Noon. The staff’s shorthand for this type of day is “10-11-12.”
  • This Sunday marks the beginning of a 4-week Advent adult Sunday School class entitled “Songs That Proclaim His Coming” taught by Don Duncan and me that will include some theology, some ecclesiology, some musicology and some cookies, I hope.
  • This Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent. This year our Advent candle lighting will be led by sibling groups of all ages, beginning this week with sisters Jessica D’Angelo and Sarah Reed.

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, give thanks!

Thankfully in Him,