Come ye Thankful People Come

Although we celebrate the holidays every year, there is something undeniably nostalgic about the big ones. As we gather with friends and family, dust off the good china, pull out the heirloom decorations, and consult the recipes that have been handed down for generations, memories mingle with the scents of turkey and sage and nutmeg.  It may be that younger hands are now making mom’s apple pie or grandma’s kolaczki; but if you’re mindful, you can still taste their love in every bite. 
 

As we gather together to observe All Saints, celebrate Thanksgiving, revel in Christmas, and ring in the New Year, we find ourselves looking both forward and back. We gather mindful of the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us and conscious of the legacy we will leave behind to guide the little ones all around us.  All the traditions and memories that make the holidays holy remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and that what we do today will shape those who come after us as surely as the actions of those who came before have shaped us. 
 

In short: who we are, what we do, how we spend our time, and where we invest our money right now matters. In fact, it matters a great deal, not just to us, but to all who will come after us. The church, the faith, and the community that our children will one day inherit is being forged right here and right now by you. Your presence in this household of faith, your pledge to this year’s stewardship campaign, your participation in our Visioning Retreat on November 16th, are all vital to the future of the First Congregational Church of Hadley. Your prayers, your participation, and your pledge, given to God for the sake of God’s people, are the primary forces that will shape this community for years to come. 

Friends, we would not have a church to call home were it not for those who came before us. We stand on the shoulders of great men and women of faith who gave of themselves to build something precious here in Hadley, from that first group that settled here in 1659 with John and Sarah Russell to men and women like Norm and Margaret Barstow, the McQuestons, Margie Frerichs, and Fred Oakley. As members of this incredible church we have inherited a great gift and a great responsibility, and there is no better time then the present to step up and lay claim to both. 

So please do. Be present in our worship. Be present for the conversation as we envision a new future. Be present as we give and gather our pledges to lift up to the Lord. 
 

Be present, here and now, in honor of the past and for the sake of the future; for without you the body of Christ the church is not complete. 
 

Thank you and God bless you all, 
Pastor Sarah