This Sunday, we are celebrating All Saints' Day, a time to remember and give thanks for all the saints in our lives who have gone before us. As part of the tradition, we will read aloud the names of loved ones within our own community and extended family at FCC during worship. An art installation by Torie Fields will be displayed in the sanctuary, a "cloud of witnesses" with tabs of paper of the names and drawings of those loved ones in our memory suspended under a night sky dome. We are so grateful to Torie for her vision and work for helping us honor those we love and miss so dearly. If you would like to have your loved one's name added to the list below, please email me at email@example.com, or write your loved one's name(s) before worship this Sunday as you enter the sanctuary at the center prayer station.
We give God thanks for the saints who have gone before us:
Iola Verena Reese
As we approach the holiday season, I know this time of year can often be filled with mixed emotions. While there can be great joy in the gathering of friends and family for events surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas, these yearly rituals and holiday celebrations can often come with sadness, too. Some of us are missing spouses or other relatives or friends who have died, some are grieving changes in their family living situations and/or structures. Some of us are grieving the loss of old Christmas traditions, some of us are struggling with difficult medical diagnoses or financial struggles, the list goes on.
I'm delighted to announce that this Advent, we will begin a new tradition to set the tone of God's unfailing love for each of us within community, even those of us who journey this season with complex emotions and feelings. On Wednesday, November 30th, all are invited to join us for our first Blue Christmas Service at 4:00pm in the sanctuary. This contemplative, musical service is being designed by some of our artists and myself to provide a worshipful space for anyone experiencing grief or sadness during this holiday season. Worshippers will be invited to bring a photo or some other piece of memorabilia representing the person or situation they have on their heart to be displayed in the center as a focal point. We will hear words of comfort and peace through liturgy, music and scripture. Those who wish will also have the chance to receive an anointing for healing and to pray individually with an elder or other church leader.
I've had the pleasure of being a part of leading this sort of service in other contexts and I can say firsthand how powerful it is to gather with beloved community for mutual support and care in the context of the Advent season. It's a wonderful service to invite a friend to, so I encourage you to consider inviting others to come along with you.
As we give God thanks for the saints of our lives and as we prepare for the start of this holiday season, may you feel God's comfort and warmth. May we model our lives after the saints who have gone before us, devoting our energy to the building of God's realm here on earth.
Among our Joys
We celebrate with John and Alison Unterreiner the marriage of their daughter, Avery and her husband, Frankie on October 29th! Our prayers are with you as you, Avery and Frankie, as you begin this exciting new chapter in life together.
Among our Concerns
We lift up:
Charlene Housman, back in the hospital with emergent medical concerns
Rose Filgo, sister of Bill McDaniel
Bear, Mel Peabody's partner
Rachel Morford, daughter of Mary Morford
We pray for our homebound friends, Helen Bosley, Harry and Margaret Lobberegt, Jane Nelson, Marylu and Joseph Mills and Jim and Kay Thompson.
Among our local and global community concerns:
For all involved in this cycle of mid-term elections - for everyone's safety, for mutual respect, for increased civic engagement and the defense of human rights, and for justice for all of God's children to shine forth.
We pray for God's children around the world, for those fleeing violence, for those enduring disenfranchisement, for those in need of hope.
Lastly, please remember in our prayers our Global Ministries partners, this week in Mexico.
If you'd like to share a prayer joy or concern, please contact Pastor Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the church office. Please indicate whether your prayer is to be shared publicly, or if you'd like it to be kept private.