For many, this may not be a year we feel especially inclined to give thanks. In our own church family and around the world, lives have been lost. Careers, relationships and plans have changed and been challenged. By no coincidence, this is the time we have chosen to look to Jesus’ example through the apostle Paul, who found reason to give thanks in all circumstances.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:4-6).
Our prayer for you is that the reality of a difficult year is met with this truth: God does not diminish or distance himself from our human experience. On the contrary,
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”
We can rejoice in His nearness. We can also be part of extending His love to the brokenhearted. As you may know, many years ago our church “adopted” a 22-square-block neighborhood in central Detroit in which to focus our community redevelopment efforts. Leadership is provided by the Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation. We’ve learned that dozens of families in our adopted neighborhood have experienced the loss of an immediate family member due to COVID-19 or other unforeseen circumstances. Even worse, most did not have resources to hold a funeral. This year, our Thanksgiving Offering will used to support these grieving families and to help them bring closure through memoriam.
You may give online at www.ward.church/give or text “Thanksgiving” followed by a space, then the amount to 248.206.2481. You can also note “Thanksgiving” on the memo line of a gift dropped in an offering box outside the Sanctuary on Sundays, or anytime at the 24/7 drop-box outside Entry 1.
We are grateful for the ways you have represented Jesus during a stressful season. You have exhibited kindness, patience, and joy in the midst of it all. Thank you for being the community of Jesus.