From Our Pastor

The Communion of Saints

Posted 1 November, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

"I believe in the communion of saints" is an affirmation you and I have spoken countless times. This is an affirmation carrying great significance as we worship this Sunday and remember the saints who have gone before us. This is a powerful time of worship, giving thanks to God for those "who in his love never die." We remember and give thanks, and we know their presence as we gather at the table of the Lord, anticipating that day when we are all gathered in the presence of the most gracious of Hosts.

I thank you all for your generous support the Uptown Halloween this week! Your generous donation of candy was all handed out to the multitude of children that visited us as we set up on Church Street.

As I thank you for this. I also share with you two other opportunities for hospitality and welcome in our neighborhood: Donuts on the Corner and the Christmas Parade. We will offer our second ministry of Donuts on the Corner on Monday, November 5th, beginning at 8am. It takes no special skills to hand our neighbors a donut and the hope that their Monday is a blessed one, so I invite you to share in this ministry that brightens many people's day.

Likewise, there is great opportunity to remember our neighbors with the gift of hot chocolate on Saturday, November 17th, during the Christmas Parade. Viewers of the parade have long enjoyed the hot chocolate we provide for many years, and I'm sure they look forward to this experience again this year. Please let Nancy Bryant or the church office know if you can help with this ministry.

The Christmas Parade reminds us, (ironically,) the season of Advent quickly approaches. So I hope you will note now on your calendars a couple of Advent ministries scheduled at the church. First, on Tuesday evening, November 27th, at 6:30pm, we begin a four-week Advent study. This will be a study of the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus as found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. All are welcome. Second, we will host midweek Advent services of worship beginning Wednesday, November 28th, at noon in the sanctuary. These services will be held each Wednesday during Advent, and will offer music, prayer, scripture, and a brief word. I am excited to prepare for the birth of Christ in a new way this year by way of these services, and hope you will make time for these services as well.

I ask you to pray for the Martinsville Community Care Collaborative as we host this event in the Uptown Ministry Center for the third year on Saturday. We work with many local agencies, as well as students from Liberty and Averett Universities, providing dental and optical services as well as other services. This is a rewarding and powerful ministry made possible by the efforts of many and the space this church is able to provide. Thank you for your gifts and prayers.

Remember the baby bottles to be returned in support of the Pregnancy Care Center. Along with this, a Dessert Auction will be held at the Uptown Ministry Center in support of the PCC on November 17th, beginning at 4:30pm. For more information, call 634-5433.

Finally I encourage you to pray each day from 2:23 - 2:26, remembering the General Conference of the UMC to be held in St. Louis from February 23rd - 26th, 2019. As we remember and prepare, we are also invited to fast.