November has never been a favorite month with me.
Even though it has given me two of my very favorite people ever- my dad and my wife, who happened to be born on the same day, 33 years apart.
Despite that bonus, it remains a month that is less than spectacular for me: the days get shorter, the nights longer; the temperatures plummet; all the brilliant colors of fall fade to gray and brown; baseball is over. Sigh...
But someone was a genius. Into this muddy mess of a month comes the celebration of Thanksgiving, one of my very favorite holidays. I like it because it is laid back (I hear all of you that cook saying "That's because you're not cooking the meal!"). Friends and family come over and get together. There is very little commercialization. We eat too much, we talk a lot, we nap, we eat some more.
Oh! and we give thanks! That's the point, right? It used to be for a good harvest. Now it's just a reminder to be grateful. And what could be better in a month as grim as this one? Thanksgiving is easy in spring or summer. But thanksgiving in November takes commitment, takes courage, takes trust. Thanksgiving in November is a reminder for us the rest of our months, that when things are going November-like in our lives when things are not the way we want them, we still need to give thanks. Because God deserves it and wants it, and because it frees us from grumbling and self-pity. It reminds us that God has been and will be good to us. God can be trusted. Better days are coming.
So, okay. It's November. I'll get through it. I just need to learn to love gray and brown.
Have a great month!
Saturdays - 11/2 - Set your clocks back 1 hour tonight! Daylight Savings Time ends!
Sundays - Every Sunday - Worship Service - 10:30 am
11/3 - Communion Sunday
- Middle school and high school kids meeting - after worship
11/17 - Fall Harvest Potluck - downstairs after worship
11/24 - Thanksgiving Worship Service
- Decorate the church for Christmas after the worship service.
Wednesdays - Every Wednesday - Bible Study - 6 PM - Fellowship Room.
11/6 - Deadline to sign up for youth overnight.
Thursdays - 11/7 - Church Board Meeting - 7 PM - Fellowship Room.
11/28 - Happy Thanksgiving!
Fridays - 11/8 - Youth Overnight - Leaving from the church at 6 PM.
Youth Overnight - Middle school and high school students are having an overnight event on Friday, November 8. There is no cost to come. We will leave the church at 6 PM to head to a cabin out near Durand. Please eat dinner before you come! Snacks and breakfast will be provided, but bring some of your own favorite snacks if you want. We will return to the church by noon on Saturday. Bring a sleeping bag, your pillow, and anything else you need for an overnight. You must let Pastor Gary know you are going by Wednesday, November 6. Come to church on November 3rd and we will discuss details.
Fall Harvest Potluck - Everyone is invited to stay after church on Sunday, November 17 for a turkey dinner. Bob, Nathalie, and Curt are making the turkey, dressing, and gravy. The rest of us will fill in with Thanksgiving-style side dishes. Please sign up in the fellowship room. Hope to see you all there. If you can help set up before church, please come early that day. We don't want anyone to have to stay down and work and miss worship. So let's get set up ahead of time.
Decorating for Christmas - Please plan on staying after church on Sunday, November 24 to decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent starts on December 1. What is advent? A season of waiting and preparing, getting ready for the coming of Jesus.
Refreshments - Sunday fellowship hour is your chance to bring some kind of treat to share with everyone else. Please consider bringing something this month! (except on the 17th when we will have our turkey dinner)
Chili Shootout - Great crowd, great chili, great side dishes, great conversations, great fun! Thanks to all, especially our chili cooks and the Greens for hosting. Start practicing for next year, we want to make this an annual event!
Coin Collection - Thanks to everyone who brought their jars of coins and bills at the end of September. We collected $202.82! The next collection will be Sunday, December 29. This all goes into our benevolence fund.
Communion - We offer communion to all. You can choose a gluten-free option for the bread and we use grape juice for our cup.
December is always a full month. Plan on Advent candles, Christmas carol singing party, special Sunday fellowship in a member's home, Christmas Eve service, and maybe if you are lucky, a short congregational meeting to make some budget decisions! Specifics coming in the next newsletter.