Abraham Lincoln declared on October 3, 1863, that the last Thursday of November would be a national holiday of Thanksgiving. He explained it this way:
The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
God’s blessings and his watchful providence have been so evident in our church these days. Here are a few ways I see it –
Sunday, you packed 700 blessing bags that were delivered on Monday to Freemansburg and Marvine Elementary School Students. It was a joy to see all of you, from our youngest to our grand adults serving together to bless Bethlehem. And it was a joy for our team to deliver those bags to the kids. More on that coming soon.
This is the one -year anniversary of the beginning of our master planning process that engaged over 500 of you with our master planning architects. That culminated in our SHINE Campaign and the purchase of our Hecktown Road property for our new campus. I am amazed at how God is working in this process and how you are generously giving for the SHINE vision and campaign for our new campus. Gifts will be given over the next three years and are an investment in GRACE’s future. We are nearing the end of the campaign, so if you haven’t made your commitment, you can do that now by clicking here.
God continues to bring together an incredible GRACE team, including our new Executive Director, Brant Lingle. Brant comes from a church in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he served as the Executive for ten years. Before that, he spent 15 years serving churches in Pennsylvania. He is really happy to be coming home to his Philadelphia Eagles (and his extended family). Brant is married to Erin, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and they have three kids – Carney, a sophomore in college, Mercy, a junior in high school, and Luke, a sixth-grader. I am so grateful to have Brant and his family a part of our GRACE family.
It is so easy and important to celebrate THANKSGIVING this year. I hope you will be a part of Thanksgiving worship services this week.
Tonight, THANKSGIVING EVE SERVICE AT BECAHI – at 7 pm, we will once again gather to give God thanks – for all the ways he has blessed us. As is our custom, some of us will give testimony of God’s grace. We will gather at BECA high with the thanksgiving table beautifully decorated by a team of volunteers led by Kim Lewis. We will hear special music from our amazing choirs and orchestra ushering us into God’s presence as His thankful people. It will be a wonderful Thanksgiving service. If you are traveling and want to watch on-line, it will be live-streamed. Click here to watch it at 7 pm.
On Sunday, December 1, we will have a JOINT WORSHIP SERVICE at 10 am at NORTHEAST MIDDLE SCHOOL. We will begin our Advent Series, The Upside Down of Christmas. Mark Crumpler will begin the series with “Christmas Expectations.” There will be no other programming on Sunday morning. We will be back at BECAHI on December 8.
Give thanks to the Lord, our God, and King! His love endures forever. Happy Thanksgiving! This Thanksgiving, I am so thankful to be…
Your pastor and friend,
Dr. Marnie Crumpler, Senior Pastor