Well Sunday was fun! I loved being able to worship to the sounds of the steel drum, enjoy some amazing home made Caribbean food, and spend the time worshiping the Lord and enjoying each other’s company and friendship during Caribbean Sunday.  Our experience of Jesus is richer when we experience faith through the lenses of different cultures.  This past week not only did we worship Jesus in the tradition and style of the Caribbean, but also caught a glimpse of the bigger picture of how Jesus is Lord over all the nations and is at work amongst the people and places of the Caribbean islands.  We got a brief experience of the ways our own faith and discipleship in Jesus is enriched by and through our sisters and brothers of different cultures, countries, and languages.

We are in the midst of a season of celebration as a congregation! Last week we were able to celebrate Caribbean Sunday.  This Saturday, October 29 we will celebrate our congregational halloween party with games, pumpkin decorating, and a trunk or treat.  This is going to be a great day to build community and friendship amongst the younger families of our congregation and also a great opportunity to reach out to our friends, neighbors, children, and grandchildren by inviting them to come and enjoy a great Saturday morning.

The following weekend, November 4-6 we are blessed to have our partners from Ministry Architects join us.  As you recall from our announcements during worship, Ministry Architects is a national consulting ministry that partners with congregations to answer two questions: 1) where are we right now? and 2) where is God calling us to go?  They will be facilitating listening sessions on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5.  During these listening sessions you’ll have the opportunity to share your feedback, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and even some frustrations.  On Sunday, November 6, after worship, we will be having a congregational meal.  This will give us another opportunity to come together in friendship and hang out together.  Following the meal, we’ll head back into the Sanctuary to hear from Ministry Architects as they present to us a report on their findings based on our conversations and feedback.  If you haven’t yet signed up to participate in a listening session, do so this Sunday, PLEASE!  I can’t emphasize enough how important your participation is in this process.

As we move deeper and deeper into November we travel into our stewardship season and into the Thanksgiving season.  You will begin to hear more about stewardship in early November and you will receive your Faith Promises in the mail next week. Please give prayerful attention to your Faith Promises this year and the ways God is calling you to partner financially in the ministry of Gardens Presbyterian Church.

On Sunday, November 20 we will have a Sunday of celebration. First, we will dedicate our Faith Promises in worship.  Second, we will have our annual congregational Thanksgiving luncheon.  We’ll be providing the Turkey and y’all can provide a dish to share.

There is a lot happening in the life of Gardens Presbyterian Church this next month!  We give thanks to God for God’s love and provision and for God’s presence and calling in our congregation.  I pray you all would know the grace and peace and joy of God’s presence with you.

Peace +++