From the Pastor's Desk Love God / Love Neighbor

Love God / Love Neighbor

I enjoy writing these weekly emails (well, most weeks…last week, Rebecca wrote it!). It causes me to pause, and reflect on what I’m thinking, on what you (the church) needs to hear, and so on. It gives me a chance to reflect on what’s happening in the world in a non-sermon/speaking form, and that’s important. 

But if I’m totally transparent…

Some Wednesdays, I sit down to write – and I can’t write – and I think to myself, “I have no ideas for this week!”.

Today is a day like that.

So I started to wonder what I wrote about last November as we approached Thanksgiving, and I remembered that I did a mini-series on gratitude. Remember that?
I challenged you to put together a list called then “Thankful 30” – a list that, one per day, you could pray for 30 different things you were thankful for from Black Friday through Christmas Day.  It was kind of a gratitude Advent calendar.
I looked at my list as your pastor (which I sent out to you last year at this time) – and it was so easy to come up with 30 things I was thankful for (our greeting team, our teachers, our leaders, the behind the scenes folk who don’t get recognized enough, your prayer, your generosity, and so on…).  
 But number 30 on the list stood out to me most:

I’m thankful “for the way you love God by loving your neighbor as yourself.”

I am thankful for how loving you are – compassionate, generous, caring, self-giving…it’s remarkable, and the mark of a good church doing its best to follow Jesus!

And so with that in mind, I want to highlight a way you can “love God by loving your neighbor” this week.

As I’ve mentioned a few times, along with the other area churches, we collected families from the area who are open to receiving a Thanksgiving meal from us…and we are excited to feed 11 families this Thanksgiving!  The food is (mostly) coming from the AACC Food Pantry, which we contribute to with donations and volunteers (thank you Steve LeGrice, Allen Riso, Rich Kugele!)
So – if you want to be involved in helping those efforts – here’s how:
First, you can go to the Methodist Church at noon this Sunday and help pack 8 unprepared boxes for those families.
Second, you can come to our basement at Central at 1:00 this Sunday to help us cook for 3 families (totaling 16 people), and then cut up, package, preserve the meals, and so on.
Third, you can volunteer on Monday afternoon at the Methodist Church to help give out and/or deliver some of the food (after 5PM).
Fourth, you can volunteer to run to the store to pick up a few items we might need before Sunday (let us know if you’re available for a Costco, ShopRite, Foodtown, etc. run on Friday or Saturday!).
Fifth, you can pray for the families. In fact, you can all do this. And I’m asking you to. 
We don’t know these 11 families, but we can pray that in one way or another, the light of Christ will fall on them through these meals. Pray that they would feel the love of Christ, and come to know and follow the One who loves them. Pray that, as the churches work together, the unity of the Body of Christ would shine and the world will know that Jesus has sent us through love.
So let’s take this Thanksgiving to love God by loving our neighbors in this very practical, tangible way.

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