Your Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete without all the fixings…however that may look in your context. We often rush around here and there, this store and the next, to ensure the holiday feast is perfect for family, friends, loved ones, and the community, which makes it easy to forget the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving.
Northern California Nevada Conference UCC, thank you! Thank you for supporting me during my time as your Bridge Conference Minister. Thank you for your OCWM support, unique offerings of your time, talents, gifts, and resources. What a blessing you all have been to this Conference.
On Saturday, November 18, 2023, 95% of you present online for the NCNC Fall Gathering opened your hearts to trust the gifts, talents, skills, and resources God has poured into me as your Settled Conference Minister. Glory Hallelujah, Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. God has smiled on me, on us for such a time as this. We must collectively unite to serve God. The charge is for us to gather, honor, and worship God. Love our neighbors, voice for the voiceless, and support our pastors, lay ministers, authorized ministers, youth, young adults, churches, and communities.
Thank you for Saturday, today, and the months and years to come! With God, we can do all things. God is about to do a New Thing. Perceive it with me. Say yes to me! Give thanks to God for our moment of Thanksgiving to serve God and this Conference together with one accord. Trust that the God who has begun this work in us will never leave or forsake us.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know the Lord he is God: he that hath made us, and not we; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with Thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude to God, our Creator and Provider, whose guidance and care go before us and whose love is with us forever. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the changes and remember that we grow and change from one season of life to another. Thanksgiving is a time of changing seasons, when leaves turn golden in autumn’s wake, and apples are crisp in the first chill breezes of fall. Let us remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving. As we see the beauty of autumn, let us acknowledge the many blessings that are ours, think of our families and friends, and give thanks in our hearts.
Prayer by Samuel F. Pugh
O God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry. When I have work, allow me to remember the jobless. When I have a home, help me remember those who have no home. When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer. And remembering, allow me to destroy my complacency, bestir my compassion, and be concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted. Amen.