November’s “From the Pastor”: Doing Thanksgiving

Last month I wrote to you about the importance of taking care of ALL the gifts God has given us. As we head into November, our Stewardship Month, I’m really excited to share more about what we have in store this year. I’m excited to think about the big picture of stewardship and well-being—not just the nitty gritty of “how we will use our money” but also “God has given us so much—how will I care for it?

I’m excited to announce that our guest speakers for November will be:

  • Kara Kaplan, a licensed mental health counselor, on caring for your emotional, mental, and relational well-being (November 3)
  • David Williams of Thrivent, on caring for your financial well-being (November 10)
  • Kathy Haldenwang, on what it really means to care for your physical well-being
  • Pastor Jeff Kane, on caring for your vocational well-being

(If you received the stewardship letter in the mail, you may notice that one of these names has changed. Dr. Dematteo sadly needed to withdraw as her husband is dealing with some serious health issues. Fortunately Ms. Kaplan was glad to come in her stead. Also, Kathy and Jeff will be speaking on November 17 and 24—we are still finalizing who will be on which date.)

Caring faithfully for what God has given us can be an ongoing struggle. Plenty of other voices, within and without, expect other things from us and can throw us out of balance or take advantage of any unwellness we might have. Careful, sustainable, planned stewardship allows us to keep focused on what God asks us to do. Maybe you’ve seen the commercial for Fidelity Investments, where people have a green arrow that guides them through life, steering them away from pitfalls and putting them on the path to reaching their goals. God has an arrow to guide us too! It’s called the Holy Spirit, nudging us to stay on course, calling us back when we wander. However, this arrow is about way more than just finances though—it’s about everything we have, how we care for it, and the way we live.

As we head toward the day of Thanksgiving later this month, let’s think of this stewardship time as a time of thanksgiving also. Saying “thank you” to God for everything we have is hugely important, of course. But one of the deepest ways to demonstrate you are thankful by your actions is to take care of those gifts. To use them as part of joining God’s mission to heal and reconcile the whole world. If someone says, “Thank you for that amazing gift!” and then throws it away, or puts it on a shelf and never uses it, you start to wonder how much it really meant to them.

Of course, I hope you’ll participate in Stewardship Month in whatever capacity you are able, whether that’s simply attending worship and listening to what our guest speakers have to say, giving us feedback about what else you might find helpful on these various topics, prayerfully making a financial commitment to St. Peter’s for 2020, or something else. But most of all, I hope this month gives you the tools to live a more balanced, more healthy life and to know true well-being and wholeness in all these various areas. St. Peter’s is blessed when its people are blessed, and vice versa.

I hope you all have a very special Thanksgiving and know in your heart that you are a beloved and blessed child of God, no matter what.

Together in Christ,
Pastor Katie

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