November’s Quiet Bounty

| November 2nd, 2023

Dear Beloved Community,

Just a couple of nights ago, my family and I drove into Ardmore (our usual Halloween haunt) for some trick-or-treating. All five of us were dressed and ready for it – masks, color-sprayed hair, a taco costume, the whole nine yards – yet along the way, we passed by a shopping center glowing from top to bottom in wreaths, garlands, twinkling lights, and red bows. Yep, those halls had already been decked. 

Ah the whiplash of the calendar, as we tuck away our skeletons and bats and ghouls of October only to find Christmas decor crashing into November with glee. One woman who’s been visiting for several months now told me recently that in her work at Hobby Lobby, all things Christmas had been filling their shelves and lining the walls for weeks on end. “I’m already tired of it!,” she said. 

Yet before we make that turn toward the sleigh bells and twinkle lights of Christmas, I invite you to rest in the in-between of November. The days will grow shorter. The air will dry and cool. The leaves will rest from their labors. Fall will give way to winter in the weeks ahead. At First on Fifth, November will give us space to remember the saints (as we do this Sunday in worship), to give thanks for all the gifts of this life, to feast and fellowship with our families, given and chosen. This month, I invite you to lean into the quiet bounty that November offers.

As you do, please consider this invitation to make a financial commitment to supporting our beloved community in the year ahead. In worship on Sunday, we’ll look back with gratitude for the saints who cheer us on as we run the race of faith together, but we’ll also look forward to how God summons us into the year ahead. Bring your commitment card with you on Sunday, but not before you consider – prayerfully, boldly, with hope – how God is calling you to contribute of yourself and your resources into the shared work of Love through First on Fifth. I can say with confidence that I’ve never been as imaginative (as Rayce called us on Sunday!) for the future of our church than now!

Today’s newsletter looks a bit like November – October images, November events, and December look-ahead, all rolled into one long missive to you. So settle in, grab a steaming mug of tea, bundle in your warm blanket and take in the fresh air, and sit with abundant gratitude for gifts old and new.

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily