Note From Pastor Lindsay- November 2017

Hello church!
I’m so excited to be back with you again after my maternity leave. It was a time of making beautiful memories with my family and of refreshing my soul. I’m so grateful for your support.
 
As well, there is much to be grateful for here at Asbury. We’ve just completed our Pumpkin Patch, the Encounter Student Ministries garage sale, Wings Over Asbury, and Trunk-or-Treat (major thank you’s to the leaders of these ministries!). And this month the Day School celebrates its 50th Anniversary on November 11th. I hope you’ll come to the celebration. Then before the end of the calendar year we’ll likely have a charge conference to approve the building project’s architectural plans.
 
We are also grateful for the time two of our staff have served our church. We are saying farewell to Tommy Lascoe, our contemporary worship leader, who is moving out of the country. Also, Andrea Mann, our office manager has accepted a position at the University of St. Thomas but will remain a vital part of our church family. Both of them have made Asbury better with their ministry and especially their passion for God and God’s church. The Staff Parish Relations Committee is conducting searches for both of those positions, and we will keep you posted on their progress.
 
I found myself grateful for so much during this time, that I began to do some research on gratitude. It turns out practicing gratitude makes us more optimistic, makes us feel better about our lives, improves our work and romantic relationships and leads to fewer doctor’s visits. When studied, it was more successful than any other psychological intervention tested in increasing personal happiness. This just in: gratitude works!
 

But beyond all of this, the word gratitude, from the Latin word gratia, is also the root word for grace. And as Christians, we have so much more to be grateful for than just our circumstances and possessions. We have the grace of God, infused into our daily lives. We have God’s kingdom – God’s work that takes whatever exists and, in God’s timing, brings good out of it. We have the Father’s provision, the Son’s love, and the Holy Spirit’s companionship. Gratitude for the grace of all of this in our lives gives our hearts and minds a hedge of protection when worry, stress, and sadness lurk.

So I would like to challenge you to experiment with me during the month of November. Our regular prayers hopefully include confession and requests for help, for ourselves or others, as well as thanks. However, for this month I invite you to join me in what I’m calling 30 Days of Thanks. The challenge is, no matter what happens or comes up, we will only offer prayers of thanks. You were each emailed a prayer calendar designed to give you some ideas of different things to be thankful for. It will even ask you to be thankful for things that you don’t like. You can make this a part of your daily practice, if you wish. But beware — it will take you farther in thankfulness than you want to go.

I can’t wait to see what God does within each of us as we embark on our 30 Days of Thanks challenge.
And so, it turns out, just by taking a look at where we are as a congregation, we have much for which it’s easy to be thankful, and a few things that are hard. A very good place to practice Paul’s admonition to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
 
Blessings,
Pastor Lindsay
 
P.S. In this issue there is a letter from the Finance Committee regarding the church’s financial needs. Please take a look at the church’s financial updates and your own giving statements and let’s put prayer into action.

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