This is the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year! I have a tradition of listing at least 100 specific blessings each year. In the coming days, I will be listing all the reasons to give thanks in 2018. My personal blessings and family blessings are too numerous to count this year. In addition to my family and personal blessings, I will also name blessings from our congregation. These blessings too have been off the chart this year! Here are a few sample blessings on my mind as I write for this article.
We began the year blessed with an incredible journey of 21 days of prayer, fasting, witness, and worship. Our church is still being impacted by this blessing and we are pleased to announce we will offer twenty-one days of worship, fasting, and prayer as we begin 2019!
We are blessed this weekend! Our church is SENDING 25 people to Lynn Haven United Methodist Church in Panama City to prepare and provide a Thanksgiving Dinner for their entire congregation. This lunch will follow morning worship at Lynn Haven and provide for hundreds of worshipers. Let us give thanks to Chef Heyward for leading this team in providing a deed of shalom from our church to another! Thank you to our congregation for your generosity making this possible!
Let us give thanks for hundreds and even thousands of “deeds of shalom” done through our congregation this year. We have made a spiritual impact with both small and large deeds to help and encourage others in our community. Our witness for Christ has shined brightly this year. Thanks be to God!
I’m so grateful for our other pastors, staff, and laity that do amazing things every week in Reaching, Teaching, and Sending in the name of Jesus. Our worship services have been inspiring all year! Our REACH has increased this year. The baptisms and reaffirmations of baptism through our church have increased this year.
Thank you for new staff members in 2018 to minister to our youth and children David Garvin, Jennifer Guidoni, and Dawn Rozosky. I’m also grateful for Steve Larson and the blessings he brings as our new Church Administrator. I’m grateful for the impact they are having in just a matter of months.
I’m grateful for new Lay Leadership that has stepped in and up in 2018! Our Alive at Shalimar event identified some great opportunities. We have six new teams pursuing six priorities moving into the New Year. I am grateful for all our excited Lay Leadership and the new things that are springing forth!
We have reason to give thanks for the addition of the Presbyterian Church next door purchase. Now the new property is called Cross Corner and we give thanks to God for this new addition to our campus. This addition could only come through the Hand of God!
I’m grateful for our congregation that says often God is at work now and anticipating a major move of God is coming through Shalimar United Methodist Church. Let it be so!
These are just some of the reasons to give thanks for our congregation. Many of you could fill this page with how Shalimar has blessed you this year. On this weekend, may we consecrate our 2019 Will You Grow Commitments with a spirit of thanksgiving in our hearts! May all in our congregation have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!