Dear Friends in Christ!

Welcome, November, the season for Thanks-giving! The month of November is framed by All Saints Day on the first of the month, and ─ almost at the end ─  Thanksgiving Day. The first is a holy day, the second a secular holiday.

Our first opportunity for thanksgiving comes as we celebrate All Saints Sunday again this year ─ November 7th. You are invited to come to worship remembering those persons, now gone, with whom we have shared life. These are the folk who brought us up or were our partners in life, or perhaps even our children or grandchildren – any of those with whom we shared dreams, hopes and burdens. We remember those who loved us, taught us, or helped us to see life in special ways. It’s a Sunday to remember and give thanks for these who have joined what the Apostle Paul called ‘that great cloud of witnesses’ who have gone before us into the heavenly places.

You will be invited to come forward not to light a candle, as we have in the recent past, but to place the name of loved ones written on slips of paper we will provide you. Then, we’ll have a celebration of the gift of Holy Communion. Our All Saints Day celebration is a time to give thanks for those who have loved us, and whom we still love.

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge and give thanks for all the volunteers who made our 50th Heritage Festival such a great event for the whole community! Of course, this means giving voice to very personal “thank-you’s” to real people who gave of themselves as they were able to be the gracious and hospitable face of Newfane Church and Village. And, there were lots of you!

November’s thanksgiving themes lead to awareness of just how blessed we are. How good it is to be a part of such a community of faith as you are! At the same time, I’m growing yet more conscious of the many more in our community who are in serious need. For people of faith, thanksgiving and gratitude prompt a desire to share. Gratitude itself seems to bring its own blessing: generosity. How will you and I be generous, in the light of God’s generosity to us? Fellow saints: How will you and I be generous, in the light of the way Christ calls us to follow?

May you be fruitful in all the things that help you to live gratefully as you follow in the Way of
Jesus, and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

May we be Christ’s blessing to the world,