Pastor’s Reflection

With the hours of sunlight diminishing each day, we approach November.
 
But at the same time, we approach November with God’s Word and Spirit to not only sustain us but to lift our spirits in joy and thanksgiving. Our worship themes for the coming weeks were easily selected from the readings that center on the glorious riches of the inheritance of our faith and the many reasons we have to hold on to faith through challenges because of who God is.
 
We will start with commemoration on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 3, of the lives of those who have died. While respecting the grief that is real at our losses, we will also be thanking God for the faith of each saint and of God’s promises as we emphasize an Inheritance that Lasts Forever.
 
November 10 will center on God’s Work Our Hands, the unifying theme of missional living in the ELCA. The epistle reading for the day provides the context for living with joy and hope that honors God. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.” II Thessalonians 2:16
 
On November 17 we will give God thanks for the gift of music, particularly as expressed through the gifts of Paul Manz on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The contributions of Paul Manz to the hymnody of Christians far and wide are inestimable. Erin Eftink is his granddaughter, and many of her family members will be present. One of the most beloved hymns written by Manz, “E’en So, Come Quickly Lord Jesus,” will be sung to remind us of the effectiveness of music to reach our very souls as we live out our faith even in difficult times. The theme for the day, Music to Carry Us Through, comes from the Psalm 98 reading as we will offer many songs of praise in celebration of our God.
 
Then on Nov. 24 our theme will be Christ the King: Our Refuge and Strength. Plans are developing for a joyful service celebrating our true King and only hope, including music and affirmations of where Christ’s presence has provided strength within the congregation this past year.
 
The Thanksgiving Service will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 9 S. Bompart Ave. on Wednesday, November 27.
 
Let’s approach worship each week with gratitude and anticipation of how God will meet us in our needs and in our praise.
 
Gratefully serving Christ with you,
Pastor Stephanie