Pastor Dan
November 2017

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In late September, our son Tony wed Laura Raczkowski in Strawberry, AZ. Strawberry is located about 25 miles north of Payson, AZ. The ceremony took place in the woods and it was a lovely evening for the ceremony. During the wedding meal, friends and family began to speak about the couple. What struck me the most, at that point, were the people who had gathered to celebrate the wedding. Their friends, some of whom began friendships in Jr. High, were really outstanding and unique people. The friends that Tony and Laura have made over the years are really caring and loving people. I was so thankful to God that this couple has such an incredible support system of friends and family. I am so thankful to God for some of the decisions we made as a family to help foster these friendships as our children grew. I am so thankful to God for our son and Laura coming together to mutually grow in faith, love and hope.

During the month of November, maybe you're like me in that my sense of gratitude and thankfulness is heightened. I spend a little more time, seeing through the lens of being thankful to the Lord for the little and the big things that happen on a day to day basis. I am more aware of the butterfly floating by, the little blossom that has sprung up from the crack in the sidewalk, the sunset, the kindness of a stranger. The Lord seems to speak in ways un-noticed most often, but in November, it seems, I tend to be more sensitive to the Lord's speaking and presence among us.

On the Sunday of October 15, Pastor Craig spoke about truly being thankful for the fact that someone showed up to worship. In reality, there is no guarantee that anyone would show up. There is no mandatory attendance and when you do attend, I pray you are blessed and touched by the Lord because otherwise, all you get is a bright yellow smiley face on the attendance chart in my office. (When you don't show up, you get a red frowny face stuck by your name.) But when Pastor Craig shared his gratefulness that you follow the moving of the Spirit and do worship, I couldn't help but think about all of you who do gather at Mount Zion. What outstanding and awesome people all of you are. I am so thankful to God Almighty for calling and choosing you to gather around His table and gather in His name to serve at Mount Zion. I truly mean this from my heart. The Spirit and gifts that the Lord has brought and continues to bring to this place is a testimony to the awesomeness of our Lord. I will go out on a limb and speak for Pastor Craig and for myself that we do give heartfelt thanks and are truly grateful to the Lord that He continues to provide such faithful disciples for this congregation and for His Church.

I pray that you will be able to join us for a Thanksgiving Eve service on Wednesday November 22 at 7:00pm. I also hope that you'll stay after the service to join some great and awesome people for pie and fellowship. But most of all, I do hope you are able to experience the grace and blessings of an abundant God and that you are able to give heartfelt thanks for all of God's activity in your life and in the world.


In Christ's love and service, Pastor Dan

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