I had not named all our recent blessings in the previous post. The dear lady who suggested giving the "lunch money" offering for the ministry of Our Saviour also did a stunning job on calligraphing all our name tags at deanery. AND she offered to furnish and fill out baptismal, confirmation, and marriage certificates for Our Saviour. What a lovely gift from her special skills and generous heart!
Other friends are offering ideas and resources to help us adorn the church as we progress through the seasons and help make it a space where spirits are uplifted and nurtured through the senses as well as through word and song.
After deanery I drove across the northern end of town and up to Rio Rancho to visit a friend who is a member of the Cathedral Church of St John. She is convalescing from surgery, so I took my oil stock for a time of prayer and anointing. She also has offered us a wonderful antique lectionary with a gilt angel on the front. It needs transporting and a bit of repair but there is another answer to prayer (and one more item off the want list). Combined with the large volume of the Revised Common Lectionary, we will be able to proclaim the Scriptures in a manner that testifies to the importance of God speaking in our midst.
Sunday three friends joined "the regulars" for worship. Two had come from Colorado to spend Thanksgiving here and brought with them an offering from a collection at Evening Prayer in Colorado. One is the dear friend whose truck has hauled tables, chairs, prayer books, and the new sign to Our Saviour. In honor of Christ the King we had frankincense, thanks to the thurible Scott donated, and we sang all verses of "Crown him with many crowns" at the end, even though we were few and a cappella. We had five vehicles in the parking lot. That may seem like a small number but to us it is a giant leap in an outward and visible sign.
Tomorrow at lunch I will head to diocesan house to turn offerings over to the treasurer's office. It represents several weeks of donations but it is an impressive sum. People are amazingly generous, even in difficult times. We have a couple of big expenses facing us, but God has seen to it that the money is already there.
Saturday we can prepare the church for Advent, setting up the Advent wreath and putting the new Sarum blue frontal on the altar. Most importantly, we shall be readying our hearts for a new year: a new year of grace and Good News and God's abundant love.
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. (Ephesians 1:15-19)--Paul+