Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
- "Now Thank We All Our God" by Martin Rinkart
May you and your family and friends rejoice in the many blessings of God this week! Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
Come and See! (John 1:35-51)
Over the last few weeks, we have talked about how to share the good news of Jesus Christ by being present with others, sharing our stories, being uncommonly kind, and living out our faith. One thing more needs to be added to this list - inviting others to be a part of what God is doing in the world. Inviting others can be difficult because we are worried about rejection, we do not feel secure in our own faith, or we do not know how to begin. In the opening chapter of the Gospel of John, we find this incident that includes at least five invitations to follow Jesus - Jesus inviting Andrew to come and see where he is staying, Andrew inviting his brother Simon, Jesus inviting Philip to follow him, Philip inviting Nathanael to come along, Philip then inviting him to come and see Jesus for himself, and then Jesus inviting them to see what greater things may be on the horizon as they follow him. In two days, five invitations are given to be a part of what God is up to. Two of these invitations are surrounded by questions: Andrew is curious about Jesus and so asks where is he staying - that is, what are you up to, Jesus? - and Nathanael doubting if anything good can come from Nazareth - that is, are you serious about this Jesus thing? If we make invitations, we should expect that questions will arise from curiosity and even suspicion. It is not a rejection but a normal part of receiving an invitation to follow Jesus. In both cases, the answer is the same: "Come and see!" That should be our answer as well - not that we have all the answers but to invite others to discover the answers alongside us. The reality is that Philip did not know any more than Nathanael about what Jesus was up to - his answer was simply to join the journey. That is another important thing to note: When we invite others to be a part of what God is doing, it is not just an invitation to come to church or to an event; it is an invitation to journey together - that is, to be a part of one another's lives as we follow Jesus together. We also need to recognize that the invitation is not about us and our bringing Jesus to other people. Jesus told Nathanael that he saw him under the fig tree (although he was not physically close enough to see) even before Philip came to get him. When we invite other people, we are not the first ones there - Jesus has already been there working in their lives. Our invitation is just opening the door a little more to let in a little more light. When we invite others to join us in the journey of following Jesus, we embark on a journey to see even greater things alongside Jesus. Sharing the gospel of Jesus means inviting others to join us in our journey to come and see what God is up to!
Decorating for Christmas
In preparing for Advent we are planning to decorate the sanctuary on Tuesday, Nov. 28th starting at 6:30 pm. We are requesting helpers with decorating the Chrismon Tree, balcony, stairway, altar rail and carrying ladder for the archway. If we have helpers for each area we can be finished in a couple of hours. Please let Davida, Bruce, or Hannah know if you are able to help!
Christmas Baskets for the Food Pantry
We will be doing the Christmas Baskets this year for the Food Pantry. Starting this Sunday, November 19th there will be six white clothes baskets set-up in different places in the church. Sunday, December 10th will be the last day to fill these baskets. Christmas baskets are not limited to only food – gloves, hats, scarves, games, gift cards, books, soft toilet tissue…whatever you would like to donate. Please help us fill the baskets!
Thank you, PRUMC Food Pantry Volunteers
Living in Community
Thanks to everyone who filled a box for Operation Christmas Child!
Thanks to Kerry and Mark for offering some of their wares in exchange for items for the Food Pantry!
Bring in four items in the coming weeks and trade for hats, scarves, calls, and more!
This Week at Port Church
Bible Study cancelled this week
Tuesday, November 14
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
7:00 pm - Family Game Night
Office Closed Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving
Sunday, November 19
9:30 am - Worship
Bring items to share with those who are hungry for our Harvest Table!
11:00 am - Sunday School
Charge Conference - November 29th, 7 pm
Christmas Program with the Spotswood Choir - December 10th, 7 pm
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - December 24th, 11:00 pm
Wednesday at the Port resumes January 24th
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!