On behalf of the entire family of parishes staff, I want to express our gratitude, prayers and appreciation for all the parishioners in our faith community. This weekend as we celebrate Thanksgiving, we take time to count our blessings and truly give thanks to God for the people and opportunities we have each day to be faithful and loving disciples.
May this weekend be a time of pause, prayer and gratitude which transforms into actions of love and service to those who are seeking God’s grace and hope. May we share our abundant blessings as much as possible.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving I am stopping to take stock of what I am thankful for and how God has blessed me here in Chatham. Here are a few things I am truly thankful for:
(1) Family Staff—I am blessed to work with such an amazing staff that works so hard daily in the mission of forming disciples who reach out to all. Each of them are dedicated to serving all of us making sure the Good News reaches everyone. They all go the extra mile and I am thankful for their support, hard work and willingness to adapt and change for the sake of the Gospel.
(2) Volunteers—As we transition and adapt to our new pastoral plan, I am very thankful to those who have stepped forward to assist us in the various ministries, programs and outreach that takes place in our family of parishes. Our volunteers are the engine for us moving forward as faithful and loving disciples. We slowly continue to grow our volunteers after the pandemic and invite others to join us as we move forward being a sign of hope, light and love in our world today.
(3) The Faithful—Of course I am extremely thankful to all the parishioners in our family of parishes. Together, we build our faith community in this post-pandemic world open to all. Not only do we seek to open our doors but we actively reach out to those around us inviting them to find Christ through who we are and what we do. All of us, as active members, seek to invite, welcome and embrace those in our families, workplaces, schools and community to walk with us drawing closer to Christ along the highway to heaven. Thank you to all our parishioners for your faithfulness, patience and endurance during the pandemic and this time of transition and change. This is not easy for anyone but is an opportunity to grow and thrive.
THE GAME PLAN CONTINUES
This weekend I conclude part one of the Game Plan message series by focusing on the last two qualities of a faithful disciple (there are six) which will help us be better followers of Jesus and messengers of the Good News. All of our ministries, programming and outreach will be rooted in these qualities that will help each of us respond to Christ’s call to follow Him.
(a) INVEST—We must invest ourselves, everything we are and everything we have completely in Jesus and the Church. We are called to participate and enter the life of the family through prayer, worship, ministry and service.
In order to be a true follower of Jesus, we have to give him our hearts and lives. When we invest in him we will truly grow recognizing everything we are and have are because of the Lord. What we are and have needs to be shared. This includes our gifts, talents and finances to help in the mission of reaching out to those in need. Investment really means a commitment to participate, support and share our lives with one another and offer as much as we can. We know the more we invest in Jesus the more we grow in love, grace and peace.
(b) SMALL GROUPS—Journeying as disciples, we need the support, encouragement, and opportunities to share with one another regularly. Small groups allow us to minister to each other forming spiritual families of grace and love.
Our family of parishes is big and it is impossible to know everyone. We need smaller groups within our community that will encourage and support one another as faithful disciples. We will seek opportunities to form short and long term small groups that will invite people to pray, share and care for one another. In this way we minister to each other and from there reach out to those in need. The more small groups we form in our family of parishes, the stronger we become.
More to come this fall….Happy Thanksgiving!