This Sunday, November 14, is a particularly busy and important day for First Presbyterian, and so I want to highlight two of the special activities that are happening that day and encourage you to be present and a part of both if you are able!

First, as you hopefully already know, it is our annual Giving Sunday, during which we will dedicate our financial pledges to support the mission of the church in 2022. As we will explore in this Sunday’s sermon, “The Road Ahead,” I believe Christ is inviting us into a particularly exciting and transformative season for this congregation in 2022, as we continue to emerge from the unique challenges of the pandemic and live even more fully and creatively into our congregational mission:

As a diverse and joyful community of Christ’s followers, we explore how God’s gracious love gives meaning to our lives and faith and inspires us to address the needs of our world. Through our worship, learning, and service, God fills us with purpose, compassion, courage, and hope.

Your generous giving in 2022 will be crucial to our ability to answer Christ’s invitation with vitality and strength, so I urge you, if you have not already done so, to spend some time in prayer and contemplation about your own ministry as a part of this church and how you can be part of responding to God’s call to us.

You can bring your pledge card with you and offer it in the service when we come forward to dedicate our pledges; or, if you have already sent it in, there will be cards on the tables in the Rotunda and Narthex that you can use to dedicate the pledge you have already made. I look forward to sharing in this important and powerful moment in the life of our church this Sunday.

Second, this Sunday afternoon is the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service held by the Bethlehem Interfaith Group (BIG). As you may remember, First Presbyterian played an important role in creating the Bethlehem Interfaith Group several years ago and has continued to be very active in its work, including hosting the first Thanksgiving Service several years ago.

This year, the service will be held at Central Moravian Church at 4 p.m., and it would be wonderful to have strong representation from First Presbyterian attending the service.

This service is an important and visible way in which we express love for our neighbors and solidarity with them, as we give thanks out of our various traditions for the blessings that God has bestowed on us and our community, including through each other. It will also be available to livestream via YouTube at bit.ly/2Z5M9Aj.

I hope to see you at both of these special opportunities; truly, we have much to be thankful for!

Grace and Peace,