By God’s grace, we are a royal priesthood. Let us therefore dedicate ourselves to offering spiritual sacrifices of thanksgiving, which are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Let us give thanks to the Lord for his goodness!
I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you (Psalm 35:18).
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is just 11 days away! 2017 has rocketed by. Sure, there have been a lot of vexing moments and serious trials over the past 10 months, and some of them are best forgotten. But as I, your pastor, look back, I also remember how many good gifts we have received, and for these we should give thanks.
I want you to schedule an appointment in Google or mark the calendar on your refrigerator or do whatever you do to set aside a block of time. Sunday evening, November 19, at 5:30 p.m. we will gather in the sanctuary for a 45-minute service. Its purpose is for God’s people to offer thanks to God together as a “great congregation”: to borrow more of the words from Psalm 35, I want us to praise God “in the mighty throng.” So we’ll sing and hear testimonies from one another of how good God has been. A potluck dinner will follow, allowing us unhurried time to enjoy rich fellowship and good food.
Having a Thanksgiving service is part of the history of Stone Hill. Way back in 1956, when our church, “Westerly Road,” began, its very first service took place on Thanksgiving Day. Since then, we’ve held a service on the holiday. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly difficult for people to attend. Traveling, hosting family and friends from out of town, serving a hot meal to those in need—these sorts of things have prevented people from gathering. And for those who have attended, there has not been much time afterward to sit and talk and go deeper.
This service on the Sunday before Thanksgiving allows us to do what the Scriptures and our church founders intended. We will gather as brothers and sisters in Christ, hear words of praise and thanksgiving, and honor the God who provides for us. We will then share a home cooked potluck meal and enjoy being the people of God under God’s good care. I can’t wait! I hope you will join me.
Adult Ed: “Commitment to one another” meets at 8:30 am in the Adult Ed room.
Adult Ed: Theology Class will meet in the Library today. This class will not meet next week.
Adult Ed: 1 Corinthians Class will meet at 9:30 am in the Adult Ed Room. This class will be having a guest speaker. Edward Adams is Professor of New Testament Studies at Kings College London. He will be conducting a general lecture and discussion on the Corinthian church. Next week 1 Corinthians will meet in the Library.
Second Offering Sunday: The goal of the Second Offering is to raise the $120,000 necessary to complete our Expanding our Serve (EOS) capital campaign. You can give in the offering plate, by mail, or online through our website or the Stone Hill Church app. Please designate any special donations for “Second Offering”.
Church Financial Update: As most of you know, we get about 40% of our annual income in December. We have set a goal of $300K general fund income for October and November combined in order to be well-positioned for a strong finish in December. Since October 1st, we have received $184,502 in income. To hit the $300K goal, we will need to average $38,500 weekly the rest of November. In addition, we received $4,975 towards the Second Offering.
Service of Thanksgiving: We will gather in the sanctuary for a one-hour service on November 19 at 5:30 p.m. Its purpose is for God’s people to offer thanks to God together. We’ll sing and hear testimonies from one another of how good God has been.
Crock-Pot Potluck Dinner: A potluck dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. in Harris Hall, allowing us unhurried time to enjoy rich fellowship and good food. Make your favorite crock-pot dish (serves 10-12 people) or bring a dessert or side dish to share. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Hope to see you there!
New Support Group: We are launching a new support group for those dealing with mental health challenges such as Anxiety/Depression. The group is intended to encourage one another, help provide hope and empower individuals to live purpose-filled lives for God. This group is not intended to replace professional guidance, treatment or in-depth counseling. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." The first meeting is on Monday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Adult Ed room. Contact Praveen Sekar (email@example.com) for more information.