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Trinity Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC
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As we approach the Ides of November, Thanksgiving Day is just over the horizon. As tumultuous as 2020 has been, time seems to have passed very quickly. I know that many of you are not very happy about the medical and public health community strongly urging Americans not to travel to spend Thanksgiving holidays with family and friends as usual. The pandemic is now in its third surge, with the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths posting record highs. So we must take increased efforts to stem the tide of this deadly disease in order to save lives and to open our economy fully sooner rather than later.

Unless things change drastically, this pandemic is going to curtail our traditional Christmas plans too. While this is certainly a bitter pill to swallow, it seems the right thing to do. At church we will be holding a virtual Thanksgiving fellowship hour on Zoom at noon on Sunday, Nov. 22. Virginia will send you information on how to tune in and share some time with your fellow church members. We are also planning to hold our annual Family Bell Service live on Zoom either on Christmas Eve or the Sunday before. Stay tuned!

I want to thank all of you who have already turned in an estimate of giving card for 2021. We are off to a good start with 25 cards received in the total amount of $108,470. If you are able, please send in your estimate to our Treasurer, Louis Taff, as soon as possible, so the Session can proceed with adopting a budget for 2021. Thank you again for your faithful generosity during these challenging times.

We will not have an in-person angel tree this year, but a virtual one. I hope many of you will be able to help us make a brighter Christmas for the children at Wilburn Elementary whose families are financially challenged. We are being asked to make contributions for the purchase of $40.00 gift cards plus $9 for books for the children. So, $49 each per child for the 20 children we've pledged to support. I know the children will be very grateful for our generous Christmas spirit.

I want you to know that several members and I have been enjoying the Wednesday evening Zoom Bible Study. We are studying the passages in scripture that contain the words, steadfast love, mercy, and grace of God. When you stand back and see how many times in the Bible we are told how gracious, merciful, and loving God is, we see a tsunami of love washing over us. When you compare these powerfully positive words with other attributes of God like wrath, righteousness, and justice, we get a very clear insight into the heart and character of God. Psalm 103:8 says it all: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” This statement occurs almost verbatim in a half a dozen of other passages in the Old Testament.

During these troubled times, I recommend spending more time in Scripture. I have culled over 150 citations in the Bible that discuss God’s love, mercy, and grace. I also have found over 100 places where God’s forgiveness is mentioned. If you would like a copy, I would be glad to send you one. Click here to e-mail me and I'll be glad to send it to you.

In this season of thanksgiving, let us give thanks to God and one another for our many blessings. I am certainly grateful for all you do. 

Your pastor and friend,
David
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Please know that Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends as we follow state guidelines to restrict the spread of Covid-19. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office

Congratulations to Linda and Frank Breazeale's son who has recently been hired in what is considered by all to be a very difficult job market.

Please pray for Ann Puryear's daughter, Toni, and Toni's husband, Billy, who fell while cleaning the gutters of their 2-story home. They each suffered a broken pelvis, which will take some time to heal. In addition, Billy broke his elbow. Please pray for their comfort as they undergo rehab and pray that they both heal fully.
 
The full explanation of this opportunity to share Christmas Cheer with Wilburn students is in an earlier churchwide email - tap here to read the email.

To give you a sense of what's needed: St. Mark's Episcopal Church and the New Hope Road Alliance have asked us to raise money to bring Christmas Cheer to families in need at Wilburn Elementary. Our goal is to raise $980.00, which will provide gifts for 20 children, including a grade-appropriate book and a $40 gift card so their parents can choose a present. Also provided via other churches will be a goody bag filled with seasonal treats. 

All in all, 80 children will be the recipients of this wonderful bit of happiness in a difficult year. If you choose to share a little cheer with the 20 children the church has volunteered to support, please mail a check to Trinity with 'Wilburn' in the memo line by Monday, November 23rd. Thank you!
Trinity Thanksgiving Tidbits
Sunday, November 22nd Zoom Meeting at Noon

Let’s celebrate our annual Sunday Thanksgiving at Trinity in a whole new way this year. Instead of taking the time on Sunday after church to prepare food to bring back to Trinity, let’s take this time to meet for a LIVE Zoom meeting!  Our Hospitality duo, Laura and Anne, envision this Zoom meeting as a time to:

Celebrate your blessings, share your concerns,
with some laughter along the way!


As we get closer, we'll share the link for the November 22nd Zoom meeting. If you are unable to participate in a Zoom event,  you may send your Thanksgiving Tidbit to David for him to share.

As we continue to pay the church's unchanging monthly obligations, we remain sincerely grateful for your giving. Louise Taff, our Receiving Treasurer, is checking the mail frequently each week, making the deposits for the church. If you have questions about your giving, please email Louise.

If you did not receive your estimate of giving card in the mail, would you let Virginia in the church office know? Tap here to email Virginia.

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Trinity's in-person activities are suspended through Sunday, November 22nd. Session will meet on Monday, November 16th to determine if the suspension of activities should continue, based on health guidelines.
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