Good Folks, it is Friday, October 30, 2015. Tomorrow is Halloween, but Sunday is All Saints Day.
Read a few words of the history of Halloween. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.
This Sunday we will be remembering church members that have died since last year. We will give thanks for their lives and celebrate, yet while mourning and grieving and knowing that no one really leaves us until they are no longer remembered. It will not be this year, but I have been thinking about having pictures of our loved ones on the screens who have gone before us in years past. The logistics in pulling this off would be time-consuming, but worthwhile. [Just a thought]
From the very beginning, offerings to God have been made. (Genesis 4: 3-4) Soon, we will be launching our annual Stewardship Campaign. The church was organized in 1883, the offering plate has been passed down the pews and…you know the rest of the story. But it is so much more than just passing the offering plate. It is about possibilities of ministries, children learning about Jesus and youth finding relevance in their lives and young and senior adults having a place to belong and learn. It also a place to hear God’s word, and experiencing the sacraments in meaningful ways. It is a place to pray and sing and hold hands and hug. It is a good place to be.
On Sunday, November 8, our Stewardship Campaign will begin and pledge cards will be brought to the service on Sunday, November 22 – the Sunday before Thanksgiving. More information forthcoming. Pray how God will move your heart to continue to participate and increase your gifts to the church and for others the opportunity to start a discipline of giving. Folks are in that entire spectrum of giving financial gifts to the church.
Know that God loves you and that the church is a missional outpost set in this community. We are here to be part of what God is doing in the community and world. And God does exciting, challenging and worthwhile making-a-difference ministries.
You are invited!
See you Sunday.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58