“Gathered in Love: An Extravagant Gift” – November 7, 2021

Rev. John Shaver

Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 9:30am
Livestream Worship

Final_gathered in love
Loving God, give wisdom to us, your earthly stewards who form your church, to reflect prayerfully at this special time on our love for You and our neighbor. Make us mindful of the many gifts You share with us. We ask that Your Holy Spirit inspire and direct us in our giving, remembering that we are only giving back that which is truly Yours. Strengthen us, Lord, to be Your grateful stewards. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has given all that we may live abundantly. Amen.
This week, I've noticed the temperatures dropping a bit, more leaves on the ground, and lights coming on a bit earlier. I've realized our CA fall is here. Fall is my favorite season for a whole host of reasons. School is back in full swing (a lot of laughter on the SDUMC preschool grounds). Cooling temperatures. The approach of the holidays. The sense of gratitude during this time of year. And of course, as a pastor, I love the renewed energy in the church as we continue sharing in our sermon series that we are gathering and (re)gathering in God's love.

As we move into a bit more normalcy, our campus through the week gathers more people for many different occasions. Of course, we gather as people of God's love growing in our faith and our Christ-centered friendship with one another — it's good to be the church!

In the life of the church, this is also the season when we turn our attention to planning the coming year of ministry. We're using the visioning theme of (re)Gathering in God's love for 2022 as we've learned to move about in these COVID-times and as we move into the time beyond.

This year marks the second time we've planned a stewardship campaign amid a pandemic. Your financial generosity is essential to our ability to continue to provide all people to know that they can gather with us in God's love.

As I've shared, I'm so grateful for — how our church staff and congregation have innovated and served over the past 19 months, and I look forward to what 2022 will bring! I am grateful to serve such a generous church family. As always, I want you to know how much I appreciate your love and support for this grace-filled, gathered community. Our focus during stewardship season has been Gathered In Love. Let us remember we gather in love because God first loved us (John 3:16).

I ask that you prayerfully consider your financial commitment for the coming year. Then, join me for a moment in the prayer we sent to all of you (also, you can find it above this note).

I look forward to being with you in worship, sharing wonderful music, and gathering in God's love. I hope you’ll make time to give thanks to God at one of our worship times: a thirty-minute 8 a.m. worship in the Chapel with Communion, 9:30 a.m. worship with the Chancel Choir in the Sanctuary, and Communion. Also, our ongoing Livestream worship continues at 9:30 a.m. and (throughout the day and week on our YouTube channel). Have a blessed fall weekend!

Grace, Peace, and Gratitude,
John

P.S. Remember on this Communion Sunday that it is also Share The Table Sunday. A day in which we bring food to help our neighbors in need experience God's love (see the list below).

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