Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November "Adventures" from "The Quincy Quill"

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all (UMH 147)

What a beautiful Fall this has been here in Quincy!!  While the days have been on the warm-ish side, the beautiful colors around us have not disappointed.  While walking to the office from my house, I will often pause to admire the trees behind the courthouse, with their leaves turning orange and gold.  Just a few blocks away, I then see shades of red, as some of the trees look as if they are blazing.  It is a wonderful sight to behold and I can’t but help singing “all things bright and beautiful…”

Even amidst the beauty we have around us, my heart breaks for the people of Santa Rosa, the Napa and Sonoma area, Loma Rica, and everywhere where fire has carved a destructive path.  People have lost their homes and other materials, some have lost pets, and as of the writing of this article, over 50 have died.  My heart also breaks for mine and Pastor Ray’s clergy colleague, Rev. Blake Busick at First UMC Santa Rosa, whose home was lost in the fire.  Yet amidst losing his home, Pastor Blake was still in the midst of ministering to those who lost homes and those who were evacuated, as First UMC was a shelter (some of you may remember Pastor Blake when he served at Greenville/Taylorsville in the mid-1980’s).  Amidst the horrible and devastating fires, we have seen the church being the hands and feet of Christ in our world, opening their buildings to evacuees, providing food and drink, clothes, and toiletries.  Our California-Nevada Conference has also been quick in response and we still have opportunities to give and will be finding out other ways we can help as soon as information becomes available.  However, I encourage us to still contribute to the CNUMC Fire Relief fund or to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).  We would also like to put together a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) team from our church or circuit to go out and help in recovery efforts from the fires or hurricanes. 

This month is also a month of thankfulness and gratitude as we celebrate Thanksgiving on November 23.  What are you most thankful for?  This past year, I am thankful for this congregation, for the opportunities to get to know our community more and new relationships through Rotary Intl. and the Star Follies, the ways we reach out in love to our community these last fifteen years through the Community Supper, and for the firefighters and first responders who kept our town safe during the Minerva Fire.  As we have been discussing in worship, God provides for us in ways we don’t always expect and as one of my favorite songs in the musical “Godspell” says, “all good gifts around us, are sent from heaven above.” God gives us abundant life and for that I am thankful. 

We have a very exciting month ahead here at Community UMC, as we celebrate a season of saints and a season of stewardship, as we think about the joy we of giving back to God and thinking of the stories of how we as the saints of God connect the mission of our church to the greater community and world.  I really hope ALL of you will be in church on Sunday, November 19 for Consecration Sunday, as Pastor Ray will be preaching, then we will have a special lunch following worship.  Before we know it, Advent, the season leading up to Christmas will be here.  We will be doing a series around James W. Moore’s book, All I Want for Christmas and hope you will participate in the small group study, as the book is very readable and has a devotion for each day of the week.  We will begin with the first small group on Monday, November 27 at 10:00am in the church office and will also have a section available at 4:30pm on Wednesdays (beginning Nov. 29) if there is enough interest.  Please let me know if you are interested so I can order enough books. 

I look forward to seeing you during the week and in church on Sunday as we celebrate the saints around us and give thanks to God for all of the wonderful things that God gives to each of us. 

Peace & Blessings,
Pastor Andrew

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