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"A Different Kind of King"
When one thinks of November, Thanksgiving usually comes to mind; however, in the church calendar year there are a couple of important observances that occur in November prior to that anticipated Thanksgiving Feast. Interestingly enough, they also have to do with giving thanks.
The Sunday closest to November 1 (All Saints Day) is set aside in the church year as All Saints Sunday. On this festival day we remember all the saints (believers) who have gone before us into the Church Triumph, and we give thanks to God for their witness and service. That is why we sing with such fervor and feeling on that day: "For all the saints who from their labors rest, who thee by faith before the world confessed, thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!"
The chancel is adorned with white paraments and flowers to remind us of the celebration of the saints robed in white surrounding the throne of God in the Revelation of John. What a wonderful opportunity we have on this festival day to gather in God's sanctuary singing praises and coming to the Lord's table to break bread together in Christ's name.
On Christ the King Sunday (November 23), we offer praise and thanksgiving to God for the victory of Christ over the power of sin and death. Our gospel lesson acknowledges that when we meet people who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, or imprisoned, we are meeting Christ, the King of heaven and earth. It is only fitting, then, that we should acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ with a feast fit for the King as we gather around the Lord's Table for his Holy Meal.
St. Mark's United Methodist Church is the host of the North Raleigh Community Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 25 at 7:00 PM. Please speak with Ann Goldfinch if you would like to take part in the community choir that will lead worship that evening. We will be joined this year by a seventh congregation, The Fountain of Raleigh Fellowship, whose pastor, The Reverend Paul L. Anderson, will preach. These community worship services have been a blessing to all who have attended. We hope you will join us.
Preparations for the Advent season will kick off on Saturday afternoon, November 22 at 5:30pm. This will be an opportunity for individuals and families to make their own home Advent wreath, as well as enjoying fellowship together. The Hanging of the Greens, including the decoration of the Chrismon Tree will be on Saturday, November 29 at 10:00 AM. We encourage you to join us for this enjoyable activity. For those of you who will be traveling over the holidays, return home safely to us, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Yours in Christ,
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