Partners in Mission:
Preparing for our national day of Thanksgiving in 2020 has a very different feel as we continue in this year like no other. As we prepare to give thanks, there are three things I would like you all to consider in your communities.
- You may remember in June I wrote a blog about 5 questions you should be asking. Many of you have relayed to me that you have utilized that resource. For that I am grateful. One of those questions relates to the ability of your community to withstand another significant disruption to our lives. We are living in that time, and I am grateful so many of you took seriously that possibility and invested in ways to connect your communities safely and keep our shared mission going. If you haven’t thought through these challenges, please do so. If a coach would be helpful, we can help connect you.
- It is clear the virus is most rapidly spreading when friends and family spend time together without masks or distancing. This makes traditional gatherings like Thanksgiving especially dangerous. Dr. Robert Smith from Briarwood has been my representative on several calls with public health officials in DFW and statewide. His notes from those calls and the considerations we should be making can be found here. For worship considerations, my counsel remains the same, that it can be done but with significant cautions. As you prepare for Advent/Christmas, do so in creative ways. It is essential we continue to care for our neighbors and put their health and safety first.
- Finally, in this time of national Thanksgiving, please take time to give thanks for all that God has done for and with us in 2020. While there have been griefs, God has also provided great opportunities for us to learn, grow, and adapt. This past week on calls with our conference pastors, again and again I heard from them the challenges but also the unexpected joys and the ways in which new capacities have been found. And last weekend we ordained our 6th candidate in 2020 for Word and Sacrament ministry in the church. As we remembered at our 2020 Synod Assembly and in our MEF Gather in Thankfulness worship service, “God has done great things for us and we rejoiced.”
I give thanks for you and for your participation in our mission. Just a couple weeks ago, we sent 3rd quarter financial mission support giving statements to the pastor and council president of each NT-NL congregation. Over and over as I signed those letters I was reminded of just how thankful we can and should be for your commitment and sharing in this work. Despite uncertainty you have responded, and for that I am grateful. So thank you, and I give thanks for you.