Several things I am very thankful for as we head into this Thanksgiving season
First of all, I am thankful for you.
As I speak to pastors throughout the country these days, I hear dreadful stories about how mean and difficult their members are. While we have a few who can be ornery at times, JT and I thank God every day for the wonderful Whitewater community of faith we get to pastor.
In case I haven't told you lately, I am and always will be proud to be your pastor. So many of you go out of your way to show your appreciation and support to me (and JT), and I know that's not the norm for every church and every pastor.
Second, I am exceedingly grateful for our Star64 ministry.
We received word that they have resolved their technical issues and our Sunday morning TV ministry will be back on the air this coming Sunday morning!
If you know people who have missed this ministry the last four weeks, spread the word that we're on again.
Third, I am thankful for the generous outpouring of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Wow!
Now, we need one more effort equal to that for collecting gifts for our annual Toy Store.
We are known for this generosity initiative in our area and hundreds of in-need children from Southwest Schools are counting on us. We are lagging behind our normal pace for collecting gifts for Toy Store.
There are hundreds of cards with toy suggestions at the Toy Store walls at any church entrance. So, could you please snag one of those cards? It would go so far in making this the success it is each year for Jesus.
Drop off your unwrapped toy donations by December 5, at any Sunday Worship Service or at the Life Center on Tuesdays or Thursdays 5-7pm or Saturdays 9am-12pm.
Fourth, I am thankful for the huge work already being done to make this Christmas at Whitewater one we will remember for years.
Our theme for December will be Wonder in the Waiting, and we will celebrate Advent in new and refreshing ways. Figure out now which Christmas Eve service you will attend with your family:
- Thursday, December 23 - 6:30pm
- Friday, December 24 - 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
- Harbortown will only be open for Birth through 3 years at the 6:30pm, 12pm, and 2pm services.
Note, too, there will be no in-person services on December 26. We will all join our online community that day and hear a brief message from JT and me online and Star64/WB.
Fifth, I am grateful for the whole year we have spent together exploring The Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus' words to us for the past 11 months have been practical and powerful. It truly is the greatest sermon ever preached! JT is up this weekend to finish out this year-long series. Don't miss it in person or online!
I also appreciate the kind texts and emails from last Sunday's message. I unpacked some complex and difficult verses and themes in my message and it affirmed to me again that the people of God like to hear the truth spoken in love. Rick Warren had a great devotional this week with similar thoughts about how important our worldview is. Check it out when you get time.
As you can see, I am grateful and thankful - more than ever!