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First Thoughts Blog

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All the Things to Love

"All the Things to Love" is the title of a book we used to read our children. It had beautiful pictures of many ordinary sights in which we can find beauty and joy. Serving God through his church is just like that. There’s so much we can do. Much of it seems obvious and ordinary. Until we think about it. Then realize, “Oh! This is a way I give glory back to God for the grace he has given me!” From arriving ten minutes early to speak to people to singing to teaching little ones to looking over the church finances to joining a mission team to visiting a homebound member to setting up communion . . . there is a cascade of ways we offer ourselves to God by participating in the life of the church. And when we ponder it for just a minute, we realize we love these activities. 
This autumn, we’ve been enjoying the weekly videos in which our members joyfully share the ways they steward God’s grace in our church. We’ve also distributed a catalog on the hundreds of ways we serve—the hundreds of opportunities there are for all of us.  
This has all been preparation for a special day of dedication, Sunday, November 12. By now you will have received a dedication card to fill out. We want everyone (yes, you!) to use these cards to make note of how you’re stewarding God’s grace. That is, to write what you are doing and what you’d like to do. Then we’ll offer that card to God as part of worship. It will be a way of recommitting ourselves to Christ, together, as people united at First Presbyterian.
That card will also include a way to offer our estimates of giving for the coming year. That’s a crucial part of your leadership’s planning process. I love to share that your elders are prudent: we don’t plan to spend more than we can expect. But your elders are also visionary: we put into play all the resources we can expect. That way every gift, all year long, truly counts. 
We know how much God has blessed us in Christ Jesus and through our church. I believe that November 12 will release joy as we intentionally dedicate ourselves, together, in worship at each service. Please make every effort to be there! I eagerly look forward to this day because, as ever, I love being your pastor!