Dear Friends,

I trust this will find you well and overflowing with not only leftovers but gratitude as well. The month of November has given us many times to reflect on our countless blessings and to experience new ones as well. One of the new blessings for First Church, at least new within the last six years, was a meaningful Ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer service. Five local congregations; Crossroads United Methodist Church, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Orangewood Presbyterian, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, and First Church joined together for a wonderful service at St. Thomas church. Joshua Elder, our Music Minister, directed a combined choir. Pastor Kimberly Scott and I participated by leading readings. It was a spiritual feast for many who attended.

Another place of thanksgiving was the pledge campaign, which is running slightly ahead of last year. This is good news, both from a planning point of view and as an
indication of a growing awareness of the spiritual benefits of being generous. The ministry of the church in God’s kingdom is financed by our gifts. Thank you!

We began the month with All Saints’ Sunday. In the past 12 months, 17 of our members have died, and of course, many others who were relatives of our members. On All Saints’ Sunday we had an opportune moment to reflect on the contributions all these people have provided for us and our congregation.

If you like pancakes, you had a good chance to indulge your appetite when our Junior Youth took over the Applebee’s just south of us on Camelback for a “Flapjack Fund Raiser.” Pastor Scott, her counselors, and most of the youth participated in this enjoyable event. The food was good, but the service was better. Thank you to all the helpers.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving saw a good number of our congregation take to the trails at North Mountain Park. It was a good way to burn off a few extra calories, but moreover, a great way to meet some others from the church. Be on the lookout for details of the next hike, which will come after Christmas.

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving,
Mike Pearson