“A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” – Pope Francis
This month marks the month where we celebrate two of my favorite holidays: All Saints Day and Thanksgiving Day. All Saints Day comes on the heels of All Hallows Eve or Halloween and it is the day when the church traditionally remembered the martyrs who died under persecution for their faith. In more modern times the celebration has shifted to bring to mind all those who have entered the church triumphant through death and to celebrate the saints here and now who follow Jesus. We are all saints- Martin Luther reminds us we are all sinners and saints at the same time through our union with Jesus the Christ.
The other reason that I love All Saints Day is that Kristen and I celebrate the birth of our daughter Lorelai. She has certainly changed our lives this year, but we are nonetheless thankful for her and the child that she is becoming. We will celebrate All Saints Sunday on November 5 and we will remember those folks from our community who have gone before us, but we also celebrate our status as saints. To help that celebration along this year, I would invite you to bring in a photo or a simple object to place on a table in the gathering space to help remember a loved one or friend who has died. As we remember them, we celebrate the impact they have had on us so that part of that day we get to celebrate our lives and our faith too.
Toward the end of the month, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. We do that in a number of ways whether through favorite foods, get-togethers, traditions, or football games that you are looking forward to watching. But we also celebrate that holiday in the life of the church as we gather for worship on Thanksgiving Eve (November 22 at 7:00 p.m.) to give thanks for the blessings we have and to know that we ourselves are blessings to God. On Thanksgiving Day, we will once again have the opportunity to put our faith and love for our neighbor into action as we gather for Operation Turkey Sandwich. More information about that event is in the following pages of this newsletter, but I hope that you will consider joining us as we love and serve our community expecting nothing in return.
In the midst of all of these celebrations, please know that I also celebrate you and your work in our common life together. It is a joy to serve in sharing the gospel with you and I am thankful for your stewardship and faithfulness as well. May you and those you love have a blessed month!
Celebrating with you,
Pastor Travis Wilson