Pastor’s Weekly Email Message – January 10, 2016

Blessed and joyous new year to all!

Schools and preschool are back in session.  Spark Sunday School, Confirmation, and Adult Bible Study resume on January 10 at 9:00 AM.  Featured this Sunday at 9:00 AM is an entertaining story of laughter, love, and a very special gift for Christmas, the movie “Red Boots for Christmas.”  Spark will begin a new Bible story on January 17.

What a wonderful Advent/Christmas we just experienced – a December filled with experiences of God’s grace.  You may know that the words “grace” and “gratitude” are very closely related.  When we think about “gratitude,” there are so many reasons God has given us to be grateful.  God has gifted us in so many ways, but especially with the gift of a Savior, the Christ Child, the one who was born, lived, and died for us.  Christ has demonstrated for us gratitude and faith.

But you may not have heard that there are scientifically proven benefits of gratitude, as discussed in this Newsweek Magazine article on gratitude.  http://www.newsweek.com/5-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude-398582  As the article says, grateful people are more hopeful and healthier, they sleep better, and they have increased self-esteem, helpfulness, empathy, and resilience.

So, let us truly give thanks to God for 2015 and for the New Year ahead!

Looking ahead …

Sunday, February 7th – Souper Bowl of Caring – During the month of January, collect cans of soup and other non-perishable food items to bring in on or before February 7th to support our local food pantries.

Also on February 7 our Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled.  We are streamlining the meeting this year. Instead of a full covered dish meal, the Church Council will provide finger food snacks to be shared while we are conducting business.  The meeting will begin promptly after worship and should end much sooner.  See you there!

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