Dear Friends in Faith,

Virtually every letter the Apostle Paul wrote to early Christian churches begins with a thanksgiving: “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 1: 2-3). Who among us would not want to be thanked in this way?

Paul was thankful because he had a way of always seeing God at work. It was God who brought faith, God who inspired hope, and God who continued to work, even in hard circumstances, helping those early Christians face hardship and be an example of love to the world.

Like Paul, I am thankful for you and for our church, PVUMC. Thank you for your faithfulness to God and for your desire to serve Jesus Christ. As we share in this season of gratitude, may you know the presence and strength of God that brings a true Thanksgiving, knowing that all we have comes from God. In this spirit of Thanksgiving, I invite you to share in three important ministries this season:

  1. Our Advent Study, When God Comes Down, which provides an opportunity to be in a small group with others. There are a dozen classes to choose from, offered at multiple times during the week. This inspiring material will help prepare your heart for Christmas.
  1. Our annual Memorial Service of Light, on Sunday, November 23 at 6:00 p.m., when we invite you to worship in our chapel to remember those we have lost and know the light of God’s comfort and care, even in our loss and grief.
  1. Your special offering as a gift of thankfulness to God and PVUMC. We are working mightily to be faithful for our apportionment commitments to our Conference and global United Methodist ministries as 2014 comes to a close. Your gift to PVUMC will help us in this season to care for others.

I close with words from Paul that express how I feel about you: “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge. (I Corinthians 1: 4-5). God truly does enrich our lives. May we be thankful for all of God’s gifts in this season of Thanksgiving.

In Christ,

Senior Pastor Dave Summers

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