What a joyful gathering we had this last Sunday. The delight in being together, in celebrating 5 years of our shared ministry and more to come, in having Rev. Dr. Ana K. Gobledale (my mom) preach, and in bringing our commitments and pledges for the coming year.
As I sit to write today, my mind and heart are filled with gratitude. Which is fitting as this is Thanksgiving week. As you know, this year has brought some unexpected developments and struggles for me personally and for my family. I know the same has been true for many of you -- whether it was unexpected losses, changes in work or school, empty-nesting, the ending of a relationship, a move or retirement. Life is filled with unexpected challenges. And still, God is with us. Sometimes it is in the midst of the chaos that we are best able to experience God's presence and God's peace that surpasses understanding.
And what a thing to be grateful for -- the reminder that we are not ever alone. That God's love is constant and that it is constantly working in and through us. That in God, we are connected to others, to community, to hope, and to joy. This season of singing has indeed been a joyful one for me (and for Nikki) in the midst of everything else happening in the world. Even as we have sung, we have also explored ways to widen God's welcome among us -- delving into what it means to be Open and Affirming to disabled people, and those living with mental illness, celebrating the gifts of the Global Church and grieving alongside our Trans siblings. This work of Open and Affirming will continue in the months and years to come, and we will continue to find ourselves challenged to widen our expression of God's extravagant and all-inclusive welcome!
This Sunday, November 26, is the final in our Autumn season. I realize it's Thanksgiving and many of you will be traveling, and I hope if you are in town, you'll join us to lift our hearts in thanks and praise! I hope you will come to hear and be reminded of God's call in your life, in our shared life.
In love and peace,