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These are a few of my favorite things ...

First we had the Basement Brothers. (Their challenge?  Heat.  Their meeting place? The furnace room, of course.)

Then came the Plumbing Partners.  (Don't ask.)

The visionary Visit to Bethlehem Travel Group combined with the All-Costumes All-the-Time Work Team to create an intergenerational experience during Advent, and a whole set of new Pageant costumes.

Now it's Mary and Martha (Nagase/Moyer) at work to edit the 2011 Lenten Devotional Booklet (with production help from Lorraine and cheerleading by Diane).  And all the people who wrote an entry!  Way to go!  Look for your copy of the booklet on March 6. 

I love watching the way projects get picked up and carried by our church members.  Some of them (plumbing comes to mind) are less glamorous than others (the dinner auction will be Simply Elegant!).  Some require working with others (what harmony we hear in our church musicians) while others (designing this website, for example) are solitary, even contemplative efforts.

Hosting homeless families or teens in the church?  Building a house through Habitat for Humanity?  Organizing and delivering holiday meals, school supplies, winter wear or canned goods?  Sponsoring a couple from Iraq as refugees to the United States?  None of these can be done alone; they all require the wider effort of the church living out its mission and its vision with others in the broader faith community.

That's quite a list, yet these projects of our congregation are just the beginning.  There are also the church financial volunteers, the Sunday School and youth ministry leaders, the gifted teachers of Adult Sunday School, the party animals of the fellowship side of things, and the soulful team of aestheticians who prepare our worship space.  There is the day-to-day task of managing the groups and the shared space of a busy downtown church, used by many community groups.  There are the clergy members who provide pastoral care when the pastor is out of town.   

Don't forget the people who show up faithfully Sunday after Sunday, pray their hearts out, share a cup of coffee, and spend a little time to greet someone new.  Remember the prayer we offer when people are sick and the casseroles we deliver when they come home from the hospital.  Treasure the children who crowd the chancel and save a seat for the pastor.  Praise the elders who believe in the church and honor its future.

For all these and many more, I give you thanks, O God.

Pastor Diane

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