With all that’s going on in the world, it would be easy to “doom and gloom” our way through the rest of 2020. But let’s not! Because, for all the challenges, there are so many blessings. And, as we approach Thanksgiving Week, I encourage us to focus on them.
This Sunday, I hope you’ll join me for our annual Thanksgiving Service with music from both our Choral Ensemble and Chimes Choir. We’ll be welcoming four new members that morning, so get ready to open your virtual arms for a big hug! You’re also invited to join a Friendsgiving Zoom and an outdoor Thanksgiving Fest (time and date of both to be announced).
Last Sunday, we held an amazing Outdoor Worship Service led by Dan and Holly with live music from Dorothy, Dawn, and Wesley. Participants loved both the service and the opportunity to safely gather, as shown by the quotes and photos below:
- I thought today’s service went very well. As the song goes, “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place, and I know that it’s the spirit of the Lord.”
- Thank you to everyone… I was grateful to have this brief, sunny respite.
- It was truly wonderful to see everyone (even if behind masks), hear live music, and commune with God in nature and worship.
- I LOVED being with everyone even at a distance and in masks.
This year’s Stewardship Campaign theme, For Such a Time as This, reflects the utterly unique experience of 2020. I hope you received the pledge packet Meg mailed last week. If not, please respond to this email and let her know. As Holly wrote in the Stewardship Letter, “the Stewardship Team believes we are called for just such a time as this. Now, more than ever, we believe the world needs this church to stand up and speak out. Our ability to nurture love of God and love of neighbor is made possible by all of us.”
Yes, our ability to keep acting, speaking, loving, serving, and advocating is made possible by the financial support each one of us (including myself) gives our congregation. We don’t receive funds from any denominational source; we’re financially responsible for own church. And, with 2021 facility rental income tenuous, we’re in even greater need of your pledge support. I promise our budget has been slimmed to the extent possible (for instance, staff and clergy are not budgeted to receive a COLA this year- though this could change if enough pledges are made). Of course, we understand that some folks are operating on their own slim budget, and we don’t ask anyone to give more than is comfortable for their circumstances. But some of us can afford to give more; and this is a year to pledge as much as possible.
Finally, many of you know that our congregation is a longtime supporter of Shaw Community Center, an organization that provides programming for low income and at-risk youth in the Shaw Neighborhood of DC. Serena, who is President of the Shaw Board, along with assisting its after-school program each week, shares the following: You will be pleased to hear that Shaw Community Center (SCC) has been serving as an anchor for its community throughout the pandemic! Read through the newsletter to find out what SCC has been up to. To help them out via Giving Tuesday or their Amazon Wish List, go to Donate Shaw. Please watch for information about how to participate in the annual Shaw Secret Santa Project as well!
I wish you all the blessings of peace, health, joy, and justice,