Letter from Liz: Nov 23, 2021


Julia Stankova, Angel of Light, 2013 (painting on wood panel) available at http://www.juliastankova.com/galleries/2013.html

Dear friends,

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27)

I get asked from time to time “So, do Brits celebrate Thanksgiving?” - to which the answer is “well, ummm, not the way you’re thinking of it, or for the reasons you may be referring to!”... but I have in the last 14 years of living in the USA become grateful for the pause that Thanksgiving offers.


I love that....

  • We get to stop on a (sometimes gloomy November) Thursday simply to remember to be thankful

  • It does not involve present giving

  • It does involve feasting with friends

  • It asks us to be intentional about our gratitude - to name things, to tell people, to write thankful emails or notes, to pray with thanks, to enumerate the multitude of thankful-making aspects of my life: family, friends, memories, moments, satisfying work, a warm and safe place to live …

And so today and this week I am thankful. But also mindful that the things I can be thankful for are not universally true - and so I hope that this week I will also pause and wonder how I can improve someone else’s thankfulness quotient.. Can I be kind? Or intentional in some way? Is there a way I can pray or act or respond that would make someone else more thankful for their life?


Scripture encourages us repeatedly to be thankful (Col 4:32, 2 Cor 9:11, 1 Tim 4:4-5, Ps 106:1, Heb 12:28-29, Heb 213:15, Ps 107:21… and SO MANY MORE) and yet does not gloss over the fact that sometimes our thankfulness will emerge from our pain, from hard circumstances, from places of struggle. Today, let us remember that God is with us - WITH US - and this is the reason I can be thankful through all the vicissitudes of life.


In other news:

  • This Sunday is Advent 1 and we will be giving some hints and ideas about making advent wreaths

  • Do you have a penchant for selling stuff? Incarnation has some things we could maybe sell as we prepare to move - let us know if that’s your thing and we’ll guide you to the marketable stuff! (including the TV from the chapel etc)

  • A while back we did a bookgroup on Dr. Beth Allison Barr's recent book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood . There is going to be a live event with her in December (in person at the National Press Club, details on the Eventbrite page). This could be a great way to keep the conversation going - why not sign up and take a friend?

  • Amy and Megan are back! Hip hip hoorah! And they have stories to share - keep Dec 9 free for a West Asia evening - details coming next week!

So grateful to be your pastor! Let me know if you want to walk or talk... and I hope your week is full of gratitude.


~ Liz