A Word from Our Pastor 2014 November

What are you thankful for? That will be the theme of our Thanksgiving Sunday Service on November 23. We are asking each of you to send a photo of someone or something you are thankful for to bmuchurch@gmail.com by November 19, and we will show your photos during the service.

If you would like to write something that can be projected (rather than take a picture), please feel free to do that as well! (If you have a printed photo, please give it to Jill).

For those of you who participate in Facebook, there has been a “challenge” going around, and I am inviting EVERYONE to get involved. Every day for a week post 3 things you are thankful for. This will be a good preparation for choosing a photo to send to bmuchurch@gmail.com. Our Facebook Gratitude Challenge will begin on Sunday, November 16. I will post every day, and you can add your list of three things you are grateful for by commenting on my post. Just go to Facebook.com and search for Berkeley Methodist United Church! To add your list of 3 things for which you are grateful, just click on “comment” and type. Everyone is invited – you don’t have to be a member or friend of BMU to comment. In fact, I hope that we are able to hear from people far and wide, so invite your friends to the “Gratitude Challenge.”

This Gratitude Challenge is actually a follow-up to our Pathways to Faith theme. One of the ways our faith grows is through a deepening awareness of God’s presence in our lives. Most of the time we are too busy or too distracted to be aware of the blessings God has surrounded us with. Pressures of work or family life fill us with thoughts of how much we have to do, how little cooperation we are getting, how people take us for granted, how obligations never seem to end. We can become overloaded with negativity, and when that happens, our stress increases and our faith seems more distant. We can spend too much time thinking about things that weigh us down. We have a choice! We can focus on the positive aspects of our lives, simple things like: the sun was shining when I woke up this morning; the smell and taste of coffee is delightful! I had a lovely dinner last night.

Even when something NOT wonderful happens, there can be reason for gratitude; yesterday, I got an email from a friend who lives far away (and therefore someone I don’t see very often) to tell me that he was diagnosed with cancer and will begin treatment soon. Of course, I was so sorry to hear the news, but very, very grateful that he let me know what he is going through, so that I can support him through prayer and in practical ways. It was not a happy reason to reconnect with someone, but a meaningful one, and so I am thankful. Even when we hear news that there has been another shooting at a school (as on October 24 in Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state), we can be grateful that loving, compassionate people are helping the victims recover physically, emotionally and spiritually and pray for healing.

Hopefully, this Gratitude Challenge will help all of us to deepen our faith by paying attention to God’s activity in our lives and in the world, and will transform us to become more ready to offer love, support and care, to be God’s heart and hands in our families and communities.

So, please remember to go to Berkeley Methodist United Church on Facebook. You can get notifications about what is posted on this page by pulling down the “Liked” menu and clicking on “Get notifications.” That way, anything posted on the BMU Facebook page will be sent to you in an email. If you need help with any aspect of Facebook, please see Jill or Rev. Naomi.
–Rev. Naomi

Welcome to Newcomers!
We at BMU will be hosting a monthly event for visitors and newcomers to get to know BMUers in an informal setting. There is an invitation enclosed, and EVERYONE is encouraged to give it to someone. The first Welcome Event will be on Wednesday, October 29 at 6:00 p.m. BMU members, be sure to come out!