Dear Friends in Christ,
November can be a busy month in the church. We start off the month with All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day is always Nov. 1st, but we celebrate it in the church calendar on Sunday Nov. 6th. On All Saints’ we remember and give thanks for all the saints, living now and living eternally, who have touched our lives: wonderful folks who have loved and taught us, and strengthened us on our journeys of faith. In the church on All Saints’ Sunday we name aloud and give thanks for congregational members who have moved on to the heavenly home in the past year or so. This year we remember and give thanks for Marie Raymond, Linda Grebb, and Jean Cutlip. A recent Sunday scripture reading from the Apostle Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy sums it up well for these friends. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Tim 4:7-8.
November 6th is also Quilting Sunday. The pews will be covered with many of the beautiful quilts our hard-working quilting ladies have sewed and tied over the past year. A number of quilts have already been given away to folks in need, but quilts will also be on sale that weekend. (They make great Christmas gifts!) The money raised is used to buy material, batting, sheets and yarn so the ladies can make more quilts to give away to needy folks.
November 13th will be Confirmation Sunday this year. Two wonderful young people, namely Aimee Becker and Levi Winter, will be confirmed in the faith on that day. That is to say, Aimee and Levi will be affirming their baptisms: saying “Yes” to the promises God made to them in baptism years ago. Aimee and Levi have completed some instruction on the Old and New Testaments, Apostles’ Creed, Lord’s Prayer, 10 Commandments and Baptism and Lord’s Supper. It’s a good start on their life-long journeys of faith. Please come and hear their faith statements and celebrate with them afterwards.
Stewardship is usually an emphasis in the month of November. Before the church year concludes with Christ the King Sunday on November 20th, we are asked to prayerfully consider and give thanks for all the goodness God gives to us. Chief on that list would be forgiveness, life and salvation through the death and resurrection of God’s Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. Then we are asked to give back a portion of our time, our talents and our finances to the ongoing work and mission of Jesus through our church and in our world today. Please return the Time & Talent sheets and the Financial giving pledge at your earliest convenience. This helps First Lutheran as we plan for 2023.
November 27th is already the First Sunday in Advent this year. In 2022 we mostly dwelt in Luke’s Gospel. In 2023 most of our Sunday Gospel readings will be from Matthew, rounded out with generous helpings of the Gospel of John.
“For all the saints, who from their labors rest, who thee by faith before the world confessed, thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!” ELW #422
Peace, love, joy to you friends as we conclude one church year and begin another,