I have always admired the Pilgrims for their vision and tenacity. To pack your bags and cross the Atlantic during the peak of the storm season takes a great deal of faith and grit. I have also admired the local Native Americans in Eastern Massachusetts, the Wampanoag, for their hospitality and neighborliness.
After losing half of the original party and dealing with so much adversity, who could have blamed the Pilgrims for hunkering down after the harvest was in with a bowl of warm corn pudding with the family around the kitchen table. But these were religious Pilgrims, deeply devoted to God and grateful for God’s providence. So they did what God’s people have done for centuries; they threw a three-day feast to celebrate the bountiful harvest and to give thanks to God, the source of those blessings. And they didn’t make this an in-house celebration; they invited their new neighbors to join them, wanting to return the favor of the hospitality they had received from them. One of the great tragedies of American history is that this mutual neighborliness did not persist.
As you take to the highways and byways to visit with family and friends, I pray for traveling mercies for all and hope that you have a great family reunion and enjoy good food and congeniality. One of the reasons the Pilgrims threw a thanksgiving feast was that they came from a long tradition of people who oriented their lives around their relationship to God who stood at the center of their faith and life. God’s people had been gathering in Jerusalem six times a year to give thanks to God for God’s providential care. This was a part of their spiritual DNA. To enjoy the benefits of life without giving thanks to the Giver was unthinkable. How could anyone do this? They yearned for the opportunity to stand in the courtyard of the temple Solomon built on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem and sing psalms that shouted, “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136) and “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and bounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all and his compassion is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145).
I count it a privilege and a blessing to be a part of that great tradition with you and my family. I hope you do too. So, when you gather with your family and friends on Thursday, enjoy the good food, but more importantly enjoy each other. Ignore the tug of the gridiron a few extra minutes to linger with those who matter to you most, the ones who raised you, the ones you bickered with over a bigger slice of pie years ago, the very ones who share your good memories of past blessings.
If you make it back to town in time, I hope you will join your church family for worship. We will kick off the season of Advent, the most wonderful time of the year. And thank you for all you do. I am so grateful.
PLEASE BRING DONATIONS FOR INTERACT
InterAct is dedicated to ending the cycle of domestic and sexual violence in Wake County; they save lives, rebuild lives, and secure safer futures for victims and survivors and their families.Their urgently-needed list includes body lotion, body wash, baby body wash, bottled water, insulated water containers, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, paper towels, twin XL sheets, women's socks, women's underwear, gas cards, microwave meals, and granola bars.
NAMETAGS ARE HERE!
A BIG thank you to the Welcoming Team for the nametags arranged in alphabetical groups on strips in the narthex for members and many regular visitors. Please return your nametag to the basket at the back of the Sanctuary. If your tag needs a change, speak to Bill Raudenbush, our Welcoming Team elder, or leave a note for Virginia in the church office.
Please bring your wrapped gift for Wilburn back with the tag by Sunday, December 1st, and place it under the Angel Tree. Bring your unwrapped gift for the Salvation Army back withthe tag by Sunday, December 8th. Millie notes that the Salvation Army welcomes other new items to be added, if you so choose to go beyond what is on the tag. If you prefer to donate funds versus choosing a card, please note 'Angel Tree' in your check's memo line or on the pew envelope.
Warm winter items needed, too! We are collecting knit hats, scarves, warm gloves for the children of Wilburn, too. (No need to wrap.)Thank you for sharing the joy of Christmas!
MUSIC SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER
Dec. 1 – Bells play for worship – meet at 9:30 to rehearse - come early to set up, Chancel Choir sings “Almost There”
Dec. 4 – No rehearsal
Dec. 7 – Chancel Choir rehearse at 10 AM in music room; Children’s Choir dress rehearse at 1:30 PM in sanctuary
Dec. 8 – Chancel Choir sings “We All Need A Little Love” in worship; Joy Program for Children’s Choir at 6 PM
Dec. 11 – Chancel Choir rehears in sanctuary for Christmas musical 7:15 PM
Dec. 14 – Dress Rehearsal Chancel Choir and full cast for Christmas musical in sanctuary 10 AM
Dec. 14 - Music Department Christmas party at Amber Young’s house at 6 PM – bring food to share.
Dec. 15 – Christmas musical for worship
Dec.18 – no rehearsals until the new year for Chancel Choir, Children’s Choir, and Bell Choir
Dec. 22 worship and Christmas Eve – Chancel Choir sings a selection from the Christmas musical for each service.
Dec. 29 - Special music in worship, no choir in worship
Soon our Sanctuary will be graced with many lovely poinsettias, thanks to a generous gift. Please send us your Christmas dedication for a loved one or special event, and your dedications will be included in the December 15th worship bulletin. If you are able to make a donation ($7-$10 suggested), your donation will benefit Trinity’s designated music fund. Forms are in Sunday's bulletins or you may email Virginia.