Giving a Relationship
Halloween is past and November is here - that can only mean one thing! The holiday season is fully upon us. Soon we will be gathering around the table for turkey and dressing with all the sides that must be there for the perfect holiday. Any day now we'll begin marking off Christmas gifts from our shopping list one by one. It won't be long until trees glimmer through front windows and lights adorn the eaves of our homes. After a two-month long sprint, we'll pack up the decorations and put away the gifts and wait for another November to bring it all back again. What memories will we take with us into the new year? How can we make the most of this holiday season?
One way to make the most of the holidays is to think a bit differently about how and what we give to the ones we love. Do we ask them what they want? Do we try to guess - hopelessly at times - what they could possibly want and throw in the gift receipt for good measure? Or do we just give up and go for the gift card? What if instead we gave them our relationship? What if we gave them some of our time and friendship? There are a lot of ways to do this. Buy two copies of book for a friends so that you can read it and talk about it together. Give a grandchild a bat and take them out to the batting cage. Take them for a horse-riding lesson. Go out for a movie or concert together. Instead of buying clothes for them, take them for a shopping trip where you can spend time together. Go volunteer to help those less fortunate together. Whatever it is that you share together, plan to spend time doing that together building up your relationship. What better way to show your love for family and friends while honoring God's gift of Jesus to us than to give a relationship for Christmas! For that is exactly what God gave us that first Christmas - a relationship with Emmanuel - God with us!
I hope you have fun thinking of ways you can give relationships to those on your holiday list!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Worship This Week: Go Big or Go Home!
As followers of Jesus, we are called to feed the hungry, visit the lonely, protect the vulnerable, free the oppressed, and help those is need. Sometimes, it seems that no matter how much we do to make the world a better place there is always so much more that is left to do. In fact, the struggles we face are greater than the skills, the numbers, and the resources we have to address them. So what is a small church to do? How can we make a difference when the problems we face are so overwhelming and we are so few? Join this Sunday as we "Go Big or Go Home!"
Weathering the Storm
This past Sunday, we celebrated All Saints' Day as we remember God's faithful who have gone on before us into glory.
Sermon Snippet: Weathering the Storm (Luke 8:22-25, Psalm 124)
The storms of life hit us all eventually, and we need a place of refuge to shelter and find comfort and strength. For many of us that place of refuge is the church and the folks we call our church family. But sometimes the storm hits us all together and affects our entire community. What do we do then? The disciples panicked in the boat as Jesus slept through the storm that threatened their lives. So they woke him in desperation over the situation. He calmed the storm and asked them, "Where is your faith?" He expected more out of them and more of their faith. Over the generations, Jesus' followers have weathered many a storm. Here at Port Church, we have weathered many storms - both literal and figurative storms - over the 220+ years of our existence, and they have made us stronger. Those who have gone before us - the saints of this church - have given us a great gift of God: being able to weather the storms that come our way because we know that Jesus is in the boat with us. While we might wonder when Jesus will calm the storm or why he's waiting, we know he is there, and so we keep calm and carry on. Keep calm and carry on - not just waiting for Jesus to do something but continuing to live in faith - that's way we weather the storm.
This Week's Challenge
What storms are on your horizon? How can you live through them?
Who in your life is facing the perfect storm right now? What can you do to give them refuge and help them weather that storm?
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, November 4
9:30 am - 2 pm - Office Hours
6 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, November 5
9:30 am - 12 pm - Office Hours
10:30 am - Prayer Time
Saturday, November 7
2 pm - Fill the Field Begins
District Youth Hunger/Homelessness Awareness Event
Drop off food for Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Sunday, November 8
9:30 am - Worship: "Go Big or Go Home"
10:45 - Church-wide Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party
11 am - Sunday School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!