From the Pastor's Pen


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A Message from Pastor David Williamson


Pastor W

November:  Pastor's Message


        What comes to mind when you think of saints?  People from long ago who are depicted in art with halos around their heads?  Super-Christians who never did anything wrong and spent their lives in church?  Men and women dressed in long robes and sandals who read the Bible from sunrise to sunset?

 

          Sometimes that seems like an accurate description.  My dog is named for Saint Thomas Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury (the top cleryman in England) from 1162-1170 - he was killed by emissaries of King Henry II while leading worship at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral.  Another cleryman who was murdered while leading worship (in 1980) - Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador - was recently designated a saint by Pope Francis.  Other saints you probably know include Anthony ("San Antonio" in Spanish), Augustine, French King Louis IX (St. Louis), Francis of Assist, Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul II.

 

          Protestants don't have a formal process of designating select people for canonization (the process of proclaiming someone a saint).  Instead, we follow the Biblical example of addressing everyone - living and dead - who have confessed Jesus as Lord with their lips, as saints.

 

          Sainthood - in every branch of Christianity - is not about honors.  Belonging to a church is not about membership or, to quote American Express, "privileges."  It's not some sort of "heaven insurance" where the goal is to "get saved."  And it's not about being perfect.

 

 

           Christianity is about discipleship, about following Jesus' teachings and example.  It's about being grateful for all of God's gifts to us - especially the forgiveness of our sins - and about demonstrating that gratitude in how we live our day-to-day lives.  It's about doing our best, and then taking advantage of the second chances God offers us when we make mistakes.

 

          We have a lot of opportunities to remember our sainthood this month.  On Nov. 4th, we'll pause to celebrate the "communion of the saints" as we gather with all the faithful of every time and place at the table of the Lord.  Veterans Day is a salute to all those who have put their lives on the line to guarantee our God-given freedom.  On November 18th, we'll meet as a congregation to celebrate the Holy Spirit's presence in every Christian's life by discussing and voting on our church's leaders and our budget for the coming year.  We'll commemorate Thanksgiving on Tuesday night, November 20th - don't let your family and friends forget WHO we're thanking!  And we'll be decorating our church for Advent - the season of preparing to celebrate Christ's coming that first Christmas and His coming again - on Nov. 25.

 

          I hope to see you in church.  Be sure to bring a friend or two with you!

          

Yours in Christ, 

~~~Pastor David Williamson

 

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