Pastor Linda Settles
Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. There’s not much expectation – no gifts to bring, no cards to send (although I thank you for the ones I’ve received!), and no expectation of dressing up. Just eating and being with loved ones. Oh yeah, and football!
The past two years have taken a toll on us - to mask or not to mask, to vax or not to vax, travel or stay at home, gun violence, racial unrest, political wars, and general incivility! And let us not forget the pain of those we lost along the way. But I hear the Apostle Paul saying:
"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies."
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
You, yes you beloved, carry the life of Christ in you! You have the power to speak life into dead situations, to speak light where there is darkness, and to be kind in a world that desperately needs it.
This Thanksgiving, may we remember our gracious Lord whose hand is ever upon us. Remember the many ways in which God has been with you, provided for you, cared for you, and carried you when the load was too heavy....and give thanks.
Let us also remember those who see no reason to give thanks; those for whom this day is a reminder of the loss of loved ones; those who are homeless; those who have lost hope. Remember the families in Waukesha, WI, those in Tigray, Ethiopia, and all around the world who are suffering from devastation. Say a prayer, lend a hand, give yourself in service to others...and give thanks.
Thanksgiving is not just a day. Instead, may it prompt us to look for ways in which we can be kind to others and show our gratitude to God on a daily basis. Don't let the cynicism of the world stop the work that God has for you to do. You are useful to the Lord and if you have not discovered your purpose yet - just keep doing good. That's a pretty good purpose in life!
Now we turn our thoughts toward the season of Advent - a season of waiting in the expectation of a love so strong that God took on flesh and came for US! Oh, I know that the world is rushing to get to Christmas, but not us. No. We will take a moment to savor the sweet expectation of the Messiah who came once to save us, and who will come again in His final victory so that we can be with Him forever!
This Sunday is the 1st Sunday of Advent, and we kick it off with our Advent Sermon Series - The Unfolding: Unfolding Hope! To register for worship, you can sign up at: https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
We will also celebrate Consecration Sunday this Sunday. Hopefully you have gone to the Lord in prayer, completed your cards, and on Sunday I will pray over them, giving thanks to God for your faithfulness!
On Wednesday, December 1, join us for a night at the movies! We have secured our own theater showing of “Christmas With The Chosen: The Messengers.” It is about the birth of Jesus through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. Tickets are $12.50 and can be reserved through the following link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080c4fa9ae2ea2fe3-christmas . Don’t wait to sign up – we can only seat 40 people! Feel free to get tickets for family & friends, too. Let’s pack the house!
On December 5 we will be blessed with our Christmas Cantata under the direction of our Director of Music, Dr. Jeffrey Heyl. A joyful time indeed! On that Sunday we will also stop the online registration process and have something in-house for attendance purposes.
Advent Adventures begin on Sunday, December 12, 5:30-7:30pm! The Scavenger Hunt Angels will return, along with caroling, cocoa, & some other surprises.
As you can see, Green Trails is on the move. We refuse to be defeated. We will rejoice always and then rejoice some more! God has been too good to us to not glorify His name to the world!
And finally, on behalf of the Leadership Board and staff, we give thanks to God for you, the members and friends of the church called Green Trails. We could not do what we do if were not for your love, your service, and your support of the mission.
May you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving!
With Gratitude and Love,