I've been taking time these days to count my blessings, to find a moment each day to be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. On these clear crisp days of fall, when the leaves are in full bloom, I don't have to look far to find such a blessing.
On dreary days with grey skies and bare branches, I have to look a little harder.
One of the many blessings I'm thankful for is friends, family and church who surround me in difficult times. When my mother passed away at the end of September, I was overwhelmed with the kind words, the hugs, and the hundreds of cards that people have sent to my family.
Their generous spirits held me up when I was feeling down, helped sustain me in my grief.
How do you say thanks for such generosity?
Generosity is a term we rarely use. The people who surrounded me in my time of grief were generous of spirit, as well as financially generous to one of the several memorial funds we suggested people give to in memory of my mother. Generosity is not primarily about our bank accounts, however, it is about our hearts.
Where are you currently being generous? I know grandparents who are generous with their time, caring for their grandchildren while the parents are off at work or on vacation. I know youth leaders who are generous with their praise, sometimes being the only word of hope and encouragement in young people's lives. I know teachers who are generous with their knowledge, helping children not only during, but before and after school, because they believe in the power of knowledge.
The psalmist asks the question: "How can I repay the LORD for all God's goodness to me?" (116:12) In many ways we may never be able to pay back God's generosity, but we can become generous of spirit as a response to all those who have been generous to us. Our generosity is a reflection of our gratitude and our gratitude gives us pause for reverent joy as we realize how many gifts we have been given.
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter every day epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
-- John Milton
On the journey,
Order your Poinsettias before November 9!
Poinsettia plants can now be ordered at Aldersgate. The cost is $9.50 per plant. Your check, payable to 'Aldersgate United Methodist Church,' MUST be included with your order. PLEASE NOTE that all orders must be received by Sunday, November 9.
Click here to download the order form.
Help Decorate Aldersgate for the Season!
New this year! The Christmas decorating here at Aldersgate, traditionally done the Saturday before Hanging of the Greens, will now be done after worship on the Sunday before. That means that on Sunday, November 23, coffee and fellowship time will follow worship as usual and then everyone is invited to grab a box of decorations and dig in. All bins and boxes will be labeled and there will be plenty of people ‘in the know’ to answer questions. As an added bonus lunch will be provided!
You are Invited...
Did you know Aldersgate has a weekly Bible Study addressing the scripture for the coming week? This group has been having some lively discussions! We gather at 12:30 on Thursday at Parkshore Senior Center. About half of those who have been attending are from outside the Parkshore community. Please consider yourself invited!
A New Name...
The faith development small group that has been meeting faithfully since Lent of 2013 has officially changed its name to Tuesday Testaments. This group is currently studying William Barclay’s treatise on the Book of Acts. All are welcome to join at anytime. Tuesday Testaments meets Tuesdays at 10:30 in the library.
The Aldersgate Women's Book Club meets the second Thursday of each month, September through May. You can regularly check each month’s edition of the SCOOP for more details.