As I write for our November enewsletter, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving, which is the month’s main holiday. (No, it’s not Black Friday!) Once again time has gone quickly by. It seems that once we arrive at Halloween time speeds up even more. Before we know it, it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve—boom, boom, boom! I suggest to you that we savor each holiday, being completely present to its meaning for Christians.
In that spirit, I offer you the words of the familiar Thanksgiving hymn “We Gather Together” as found in our New Century Hymnal, No 421. This background information appears there. “The original text of this hymn was one of thanksgiving for The Netherlands’ independence from Spanish domination in the sixteenth century. It has been reinterpreted for contemporary congregations by UCC minister and writer Lavon Baylor.
“We Gather Together”
- We gather together to ask for God’s blessing,
To live in community, seeking God’s will.
We come now, as sisters and brothers,
Confessing the sins that divide and the wrong in us still.
- Beside us, forgiving, enabling, sustaining,
You call us, O Savior, to life that is new.
You draw us away from self-centered complaining.
You lead us and guide us in ways that are true.
- All praise to the Spirit, provider, defender.
You offer us freedom, to follow or stray.
Empowering all by the hope you engender.
Grant wisdom and courage to follow your way.
Here at CCC, as we work for, and look toward, the “life that is new” to come after the sale of church property, it’s good to be reminded that when Christ calls us, Christ is with us. Through challenges and new opportunities, we can trust him to “lead us and guide us in ways that are true.” My prayer is that we will all be empowered by the hope that the Holy Spirit brings. Let us continue to pray for wisdom and courage to follow in the Spirit’s way, as a church and as individuals. Let us Gather Together every Sunday, in the Sanctuary or on Facebook, praying for God’s blessing “…to live in community seeking God’s will.”
I give thanks for each of you!
God Bless You!
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Candyclick here to download this week's bulletin!