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To Live Tomorrow Today

Our week has been filled with expressing our gratitude; for our family, our friends, our faith. As we all are recovering from what was hopefully a blessed Thanksgiving Day, we begin to turn our thoughts to the season of Advent, which begins this Sunday. Advent is the season not only of preparing for Jesus' birth, but for the time when Christ will come again.

Thanksgiving Reflection

"On that day let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in homes blessed by family affection to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain us in the great unfinished tasks of achieving peace, justice, and understanding among all men and nations and of ending misery and suffering wherever they exist."

President John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, November 5, 1963

A Calling to All of Us

Today is Veteran's Day, a day we remember the courage and sacrifices of the men and women who served in our nation's armed forces, with the deep hope that what they gave would help to defend and protect the freedoms and rights of people in our nation and others.

This Veteran's Day comes at the end of a Presidential Election week that has left our nation deeply aware of divisions of thought and goals, and deeply aware of mistrust between groups of people. As one pastor put it, "half of our nation is pleased; half is hurting."

Thinking about Justice

Thanks to Osvaldo Vena, and the members of the Still a Dream band, for a truly remarkable music performance last Sunday in Fishel Park. The words of children all hoping for a better place, to grow up and thrive in a world where peace has a chance; their words and the bands musical setting were haunting.

Of course if you brought a backpack last Sunday you got blessed, come to think we all are blessed to be a blessing for others.

Dreams

It's been fun (though I've been staying up way too late these past two weeks!) to watch portions of the Olympic Games from Brazil. In addition to the breathtaking moments of victory and the sometimes heartbreaking moments that lead to a loss, I've enjoyed hearing about the roots and backgrounds of the individual athletes. In each case, someone had to sense that young athlete's potential and support him or her in their dreams and in the long, slow, training process to become world-class.

Father's Day

Father's Day is an opportunity for each of us to show our love and appreciation to those men in our lives who have nurtured and cared for us; a moment to honor our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and husbands who have guided us through sunny days and stormy nights. This Father's Day my sermon will focus on Luke 8:22-25, which tells the story of Jesus calming a storm. I will reflect on my experience of watching my dad set sail into some stormy weather and focus on how faith, hope and trust help us to negotiate the storms we all face along life's journey.

Walk by Faith

Welcome to June!  We will kick off the new month by moving to our summer worship times of 8:30 and 10:00 a.m., beginning this Sunday, June 5.

A very special part of this Sunday's 10:00 service will be the Recognition of graduating high school seniors in our congregation.  We'll celebrate with them this milestone in their life, and bless them as they step into the future.

We'll reflect on the scripture account, in Acts 13:1-3, of Paul and Barnabas being prayed for by their church as they embarked on a new journey, with the message You Are Called.

Spiritual Gifts

This week as the temperatures rose, we were giving a reminder of what summers in Chicago are really like; a surprising reminder after a cool spring.

With the warmer weather, comes the job of dusting off the winter debris. I want to thank the 20 plus volunteers from DGFUMC who joined in cleaning up a stretch of the St. Joseph Creek as part of the annual DuPage River Sweep last Saturday.

"Shall We Gather at the...St. Joseph Creek?"

Last Sunday's special service, celebrating and dedicating our new sanctuary stained glass windows, ended with the Chapel and Chancel Choirs singing the powerful anthem, There Is a River in Judea. That anthem lifted our vision to God's ultimate purposes of love and healing for humanity.

So Much to Celebrate

This Sunday's worship will include a celebration and dedication of the new stained glass windows that have been added to our church sanctuary over the past two years. As we'll be reminded on Sunday, they tell a story of the "Hymns of Praise" that teach and inspire us as a congregation. But they remind us of other stories of our life together, too.

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