O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)
Give thanks! The Psalmist begins the fifth book of the Psalms with a long, liturgical recounting of the ways that God has blessed his people in the past when they cried out to him in their times of need; when they turned to him in repentance from sin; when they “were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven” (v. 30). Because God is so good, because his steadfast love endures forever, we can, in the words of St. Paul, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
In this season when we are especially encouraged to give thanks, I thank God for the Good News of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives, for the blessings of salvation, and for the high calling of discipleship. I give thanks for family and friends, and for the privilege of living in a country whose citizens have paid dearly to afford us the freedom to worship and to live together. I give thanks for the Church, the Body of Christ, and for all those whose faith and faithfulness have nurtured me and have challenged me to grow. I give thanks for love, and for God’s ability to bring “the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
In this season I also want to give thanks for two special people who have blessed my life and the lives of many people here, and that is John and Aly McClure. John has served for seven and a half years as our Director of Youth Ministries (the average tenure in our Conference is about eighteen months!) and has been a tremendous blessing to our youth and families. In January he will begin a new adventure in ministry at the Pearland United Methodist Church as the Youth Director.
Pearland UMC is a very large church in the Houston metroplex that will take John to a whole new level of ministry opportunity. It is the perfect time and place for him and Aly. They will be living only minutes from John’s uncle and family, will be closer to Aly’s family, and will be able to receive prenatal care at a hub clinic for Texas Children’s Hospital, where Aly will be able to have their baby delivered in May. The due date is May 14, Mother’s Day!
We will have a special reception for John and Aly on Sunday, Dec.18, right after the 10:30 a.m. worship service. I know you will want to be present to give thanks for their ministry. In the meantime, we have already begun the search process for someone to come in and build on the great work John has done. Please be in prayer for John and Aly and for the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Grace and peace,
Trinity United Methodist Church
3430 Harrison | Beaumont, TX 77706
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