Shout out of gratitude!

2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5a

Greetings and peace my friends!

You may have heard the term “Shout out!” Today, I would love to share some “shout outs” with all of you!

On Tuesday Pastor Suzanne wrote wonderfully about being grateful. As I thought and prayed over her message to us all and then experienced life this week within the midst of our community of faith, I felt truly moved by the Spirit.

I would like to give a “Shout out!” to our congregational councils of the UPG and St. John’s Windish. Trust me when I tell you that it is extremely difficult dealing with “real world” concerns of our community of faith via the internet and “Zoom!” In fact, some might say it is easier to herd 40 cats into one room, than to faithfully discharge the important duties of our councils via “Zoom.” Think about this for a moment, these wonderful sisters and brothers in Christ volunteered to help lead, direct, and guide our communities. In “normal” times this task can be daunting as emotions and thoughts can run high, but during the pandemic, incredibly important and difficult decisions have had to be reached in order to keep our community of faith heading in God inspired directions.

Each month we faithfully talk about and discern our decisions regarding “in person” worship. Each month with longing hearts to return to regular worship these faithful people set aside their personal preferences and truly are looking out for the best interests of the people who comprise our community of faith.

During this pandemic, when many communities of faith have been in an almost “hibernation” our community of faith has been constantly looking to grow and expand our ministries in previously unthought of ways. Our “Bringing it Home” ministry is allowing our sisters and brothers in Christ who may not be familiar with available technologies to have access to and be able to participate in our “online worship celebrations.” For many of these family members it has not been months of being away from worship, but rather years! The joy on their faces is precious as they watch these worship celebrations! The capital investment for this ministry was wonderfully received and supported by our congregational councils because of the realization that our Lord is calling us to share worship with as many sisters and brothers within our community of faith as possible! This bold action shares the power of God’s love to people who otherwise would continue to be separated from the strength of our community of faith and the hope that is shared among our family of faith.