God saved us, according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?
I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving
And call upon the name of the Lord.
From Psalm 116
I’ve gone on record as having said that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are lots of high-sounding reasons why, but here’s the bottom line: Thanksgiving is my favorite because Karen makes the best turkey stuffing in the whole wide world!
There. I’ve said it. And for good Christian purpose too. You see, the stuffing is so good that I typically have two responses to it, and they match the psalmist’s two-part answer to his question above. First, when I say to Karen, “Thank you. This really is the best stuffing in the whole wide world,” I am offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving. I pause, look her in the eye, and offer a genuine statement of appreciation.
That’s the way it is with God. Day after day he “loads” us with benefits” (Psalm 68:19, King James). And so the question that the psalmist asks above is apt: “What shall we render to the Lord for all his benefits to us?” First, “offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving”: pause, look the Lord “in the eye,” and voice honest appreciation for all he has done.
Back to the turkey stuffing. There’s one other thing I do at the Thanksgiving table. After I give thanks, I usually ask, “Is there more?” In some senses, this is the highest form of thanksgiving, because it says to Karen, “This turkey stuffing is so good, I want more! Thank you, thank you!”
And that call for more is exactly what the psalmist has in mind when he writes, “I will call upon the name of the Lord.” God generously gives us good things so as to have us ask in faith for more: more of his goodness, of his strength, of his Spirit, of his hope, of his love.
This Thursday, stop and give thanks to God for his benefits. And make sure you ask for more.
Town Hall Meeting: Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting . Pastor Matt and our Elders will be speaking about where we are and where we are headed with our church’s mission. The meeting and luncheon will be held in Harris Hall at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 2.
Prayer & Praise Service: We will gather in the sanctuary for a one-hour service today 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. As is our custom, we will have our annual collection for our Benevolence Fund.
Crock-Pot Potluck Dinner: All are invited to the potluck dinner following the Prayer & Praise service today at 6:30 p.m. in Harris Hall, this is an 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. Hope to see you there!
Christmas Choir Concert | A Service of Lessons and Carols: Come and Worship! Be led by the choir in Carols and Readings that capture the Advent and Christmas Season. Appropriate for all ages. Enjoy light refreshments after the concert. Sunday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m.
Decorating the Church for Christmas: Brenda Nyce-Taylor and our Flower Team are looking for help on Saturday, December 1 to decorate the church. If you are in the Christmas spirit and can lend a hand, please let us know by emailing email@example.com and/or stop by the church between 9:30 a.m. and noon.
Women's Bible Study: Women, are you tired of feeling like Christmas seems to sneak up on you and you’re just not ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth? Join us for a 4-week Advent series beginning Tuesday, November 27 at 9:30 a.m. We will look at four people who were transformed by the first Christmas. By reflecting on the Scripture of these events, we hope to see this wonderful first Christmas more clearly and discover how God still changes us.
Take Them a Meal: The Oakley family are new to our church, the area, and just added a new baby to their family. We would like to bless them by providing some meals. Please contact Laura Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the Meals Ministry. We are looking for more people who are willing to provide a meal once in a while for families within our church who we can bless in that special way.
Members of Stone Hill are encouraged to nominate Elders and Deacons: You must be a church member to nominate and all nominees must be church members. Fill out the form found in the Westerly Prayer Chapel, and place it in the Nomination Box, bring it by the church office, or email your nominees to email@example.com. All nominations will need to be in by November 19.
Stone Hill Science: This new group is starting regular monthly meetings with lectures from engineers/scientists interested in the science-Christianity interface. Prof. Ian Hutchinson (MIT) will provide a lecture related to his recently published book entitled Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? on Saturday, December 1.
Casseroles Needed for ISI Christmas Banquet: International Students (ISI) ministry is holding their Annual Christmas Banquet on Saturday, December 1. They are asking for 20 casseroles to be provided by Stone Hill Church. If you are able to make a casserole for this event, please email Connie Darrow at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more details, please pick up a flyer at the missions counter. Thank you.
No Empty Stocking: The annual No Empty Stocking Christmas gift drive will run through 27. We partner with Princeton Human Services who are celebrating 20 years of gift–giving this Christmas. Feel free to create a group to purchase gifts for a child or to choose more than one child if you wish to spend more. For more information and a full list of details stop by the tree in the atrium.
Haiti Trip 2019: Ready for a meaningful adventure? Go to Haiti and make a difference in the lives of others! On the trip you will serve those in need by helping others for the Lord; projects may include construction, visiting a school or orphanage, presenting kids’ programs, or teaching at a vocational school. Grow your love for others; spend a week traveling, working, and worshiping together with your teammates; make new friends, near and far. Go cross-cultural to a third-world country right on our doorstep; taste new foods; see other landscapes; learn a distinctive language. Trip dates are March 9-16, 2019. Apply online today: https://tinyurl.com/HaitiTrip2019