October 25, 2015

Pastor Letter

Laity Sunday and Gratitude Sunday,

As I watch parents remind their children to say, “Thank you,” I marvel at the mystery of gratitude. I am pretty sure we feel gratitude before we are taught to express it, but it also seems that the practice of saying “thanks” reinforces our awareness of “the gift.” In other words, telling mom or dad “thanks” for dinner is not just a social custom, it reminds us of the gift we have received through another’s labor. Gratitude opens our eyes to the giftedness of life. This morning we say “Thanks” for the gift of Laity and the gift of a community of stewards.

This year we are returning to a great United Methodist tradition: Laity Sunday. The word Laity comes from the Greek word Laos or work of the people. In the past we have had Sunday’s led by our lay men and lay women (UMW). Today we celebrate the ministry of all Christ’s people. We are grateful to Jane Barboza, the United Methodist Women and others for coordinating this Sunday’s celebration of the gifts and witness of laypersons.

As a part of our fall stewardship season we are also celebrating “Gratitude Sunday.”

- We lift up thanksgiving for the ministries that the LAUMC family has supported through the year. Ministries in our worship life, outreach ministries of service, communities that form disciples, teams of caring and support, and leaders guiding us through facility renovation.
- We lift up thanksgiving for our partners in generosity;

o Who faithfully offer their resources to foster the work of the Spirit through this church,
o Who express their gratitude for the grace of God, the gift of life and the mission entrusted to us through dedicated stewardship.

- We lift up thanksgiving for the God who inspires hope, for Jesus who invites us to walk with him in an adventure of love and for a Spirit who opens our eyes, nurtures our gifts, and unites our hearts in community.

We are grateful to Becky Low and the Stewardship Team for organizing a celebration of the ministries you have made possible through your generosity. May God continue to bless us as we open our lives to the mystery of gratitude and the abundant gifts that surround us.

Pastor Mark