Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and for many of us the holidays will be quite a bit different than we are used to. Remember that different means that we are all experiencing loss and that it is ok to grieve our losses. For most of us this loss is temporary- there is an empty chair this year, but we hope that it will be filled next year. For others that loss is permeant. This Thanksgiving, please remember in your prayers the many families who have lost a loved one in the past year- our hearts are with you.
And I encourage you to set aside some time this week to reflect on the many blessings in your life. I do this regularly- just stop absolutely everything that you’re doing for 5 minutes, enter into an attitude of prayer, and list the many blessings that God has given you. For me, that changes my day and my week… simply intentionally remembering how blessed I really am.
In worship this week we will be celebrating the 1st Sunday of Advent- that season in the Christian calendar when we prepare our hearts for Christmas. I’m back as the full-time preacher, and I trust that God will speak to you through these messages this year. I want to thank all of our guest preachers from the Faith Talks sermon series- Kayla, Laura, Sara, Danny, Charity, and Mark. If you missed the service from last week (or any in the series) you can watch them anytime at : https://vimeo.com/482090927
The last thing I want to say is that I would ask that you pray for other churches in our community and our state as they make tough choices about holding worship services in the midst of the COVID pandemic. I know that these are difficult choices for every congregation and that there are still many people who will struggle with any decision that is made by a pastor or other church leadership group. Last week our Bishop, Rev. Bob Farr, asked that all United Methodist Churches in the state of Missouri put in-person services on hold indefinitely. You can read the Bishop’s full letter HERE. This has been a difficult decision for Bishop Farr to make and it’s even more difficult for congregations who do not have the resources, equipment, technical abilities, and internet service that we are blessed with at Faithbridge. Please keep other churches in your prayers this week as they struggle to find a way to respond to the challenges of our time faithfully and responsibly.
Stay safe and well, and have a blessed and truly happy Thanksgiving.
Blessings in the wilderness,
Pastor Andy Blacksher
Connect, Grow and Serve…
Christmas Joy in Children’s Voices
We need your help- or the help of your cute kids and grandchildren anyway! This year for Advent, we are going to be putting together short videos for worship each week that help us get into the Christmas spirit. We would like you to send in videos of your kids or grandkids reading (or repeating) the Christmas story, and we’ll make it into something very special for the congregation. You can watch this video of Mila, Al and Nancy Mahrer’s granddaughter, is a great example of what we’re looking for.
We will only be using the audio of them telling the story (so it doesn’t matter how cute you dress them up!). Even though we don’t need the picture portion of the video, the easiest way to do this may be to record them on a cell phone video camera (like Nancy did with her granddaughter) and send that to us.
Please email all recordings to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 30th. Here is the exact scripture passage I would like them to read/repeat, and it comes from Luke 2:1-20 from the CEB translation:
In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.
Wellness Tips For You
Becky Beck, a long-time member of Faithbridge and healthcare professional shares some new information on taking care of yourself and your loved ones.
Women’s Bible Study
The Women’s Bible Study will begin a new four-week study for advent starting next week, on Tuesday, December 1st. The study will be “Because of Bethlehem Love is Born, Hope is Here” by Max Lucado. In this study Max will tell us how Jesus’ birth gives us the promise that God is always near us, always for us, and always within us – and that we no longer need to have marks on our record. We will meet at 9:30 on Tuesdays by zoom. This will be a great study to get you in the Christmas (Jesus) spirit! Please join us!
Please contact Barb Bierman 573-280-1516 or Betty McAdams 816-506-0121 if you would like a book.
Ribbons for Community Support
Lake Regional Hospital has been working tirelessly taking care of our community these last few months and are now seeing an increase in COVID inpatients. As this pandemic continues to affect us all, Lake Regional Hospital has reached out to our community asking for support for our front line workers. There are many front line workers they would like for us to recognize along with the hospital. These include teachers and administrators, all health care workers, EMS, firefighters, police, delivery, and grocery store workers.
How can you help? Display a ribbon on your mailbox, tree, or window to let the community know you a you are supporting the frontline workers or you are a frontline worker.
Ribbon colors are:
- White- to support all those who work on the frontlines
- Blue- if you personally work on the frontlines
- School colors- Display your school color if you work on the frontlines at our local schools
During this week of Thanksgiving, lets thank our frontline workers! Displaying a ribbon is only one way we can say thank you. Cards, meals, and gift certificates would make a frontline workers day!
By our Prayers…
Please remember the following people and situations in your prayers this week:
Kathy Browns– Rusty Fowler’s cousin who is receiving hospice care.
Amber Elliott– Her father, Ronnie Asmann passed away. Please be praying for the family in this time of loss.
Rusty Fowler– for his dad (Jack) and dad’s girlfriend (Ginger) who have COVID-19
Darrel Johnson – Keith Johnson’s brother who has been diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer. Prayers for the whole family.
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer.
Levin McGee – Sharon and Norm’s grandson needs prayers for doctors to make a confident diagnosis of the problems in his shoulder.
(To be included in this list, please reply to this email or contact the church office.)