We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Thess. 1:2-3
We do. As your New Castle Presbytery staff,
we do thank God for you
and murmur your names, communities, and churches in our prayers
We are bursting with gratitude for you and for your kinship,
for how we are connected,
for how we work together, play together,
laugh together, pray together,
bicker and dicker,
share soul-ach and vision
over bits of sandwiches, or slurps of coffee,
through emails, emojis, the Facebook we love to hate,
on the phone, on Zoom,
or how side by side in our sanctuaries we sing praise to God in robust harmony
even as we fear we might be making a hash
of this church stuff.
This "wild and holy trade"
as Frederick Beuchner called the life Christian service,
carries us through the heard-deadening and the heart-leaping,
the weariness and the high holy what-just-happened,
the days when it's the last straw
and the days where we realize, even in tears,
that there's nothing else on earth we would ever want to do.
Think of how we call our out to one another across heaven and earth or the aisle
to console or cajole,
and even sometimes
just to drive each other nuts.
Think of all the grace we learn to practice with one another.
Think of how we are so much a part of this great cloud of witnesses,
this communion of beautiful, limping, imperfect saints,
in whom God still chooses to make God's home
through whom the Holy Spirit still chooses to love this world.
As the late theologian, Yogi Berra, once said, "It ain't over 'til it's over."
If we are still here, we can trust that God still has an idea up the divine sleeve,
a redemptive plan, if we are to believe the Gospel,
and that we are part of that.
You and us. Together. And there's no one we'd rather be journeying with.
May your Thanksgiving be rich in joy, safe in travel, and abundant in gratitude.
On behalf of the NCP Staff...
Grace and Peace,