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God calls Ridgeway to be a welcoming shelter – a safe place where people grow in faith and service to God.
The Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren, a congregation within the Church of the Brethren, strives to be a welcoming location for members of the community to grow in faith and service to God.
Whether during Sunday worship, Sunday School, a fellowship gathering, during a small group meeting, or at a youth or children’s event, there’s an activity for all to fellowship, learn and grow.
In addition to the church sponsored activities, the church is used by numerous community groups for meetings and gatherings. Visit the calendar page to see what’s happening at the church this week!
“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.”
How many of you immediately recognize the opening words to this hymn? How many of you just realized you are humming or thinking about the words in rhythm to the hymn? If you answered yes to either of these questions, take a moment to think about times and places where you have sung it or have been part of a community that was singing. I imagine at least some of those times are around Thanksgiving, either at church or in a family gathering. In growing up, we would sometimes sing the first verse as a grace for our Thanksgiving meals.
Beyond recognizing the words and melody, what do these words mean to you? What does it mean to come together as a people to seek God’s blessing? How does this gathering and seeking connect to an attitude of offering thanks?
In worship this month, we will have several obvious opportunities to give thanks. November 6th is our annual Let’s Give Thanks Dinner, one of the highlights of the year for many folks at Ridgeway. It is kind of our version of Homecoming. Family and friends we might not see other times of the year join together for this special (and delicious) meal. It feels like one of the times when we best live out an understanding of being a family of faith. Two weeks later, many of us will gather around smaller tables for Thanksgiving, again connecting with family or other loved ones we might not see very often. We give thanks and ask God’s blessing for our time together, as joyous or as complicated as that may be when we gather with family.
Beyond special times however, what does it mean to live in gratitude? Although we have services that focus on giving thanks, every day, every moment is an opportunity to live in wonder and awe. God has given us life, and most of us have far more than we need to survive. Even in times when we may experience financial struggles, we can see blessings around us and marvel at the ways our needs are met. We give thanks that we can share in good relationships and even share in supporting one another in times of need. Perhaps most of all in this very long election cycle, we can give thanks that political ads and constant news cycles about candidates will soon be a thing of the past.
No matter how things turn out, I pray that as we gather together, we will continue to seek God’s blessings and to seek ways of offering our lives in faith and service. In our regular times of worship and in our special gatherings as a congregation, such as our Congregational Business Meeting after worship on November 20th, let us continue to serve and celebrate God who has given us abundant blessings and challenges us to trust in these promises of life. Let us “sing praises to His name, He forgets not His own” as we work, play, pray, worship, and live in gratitude.
Together on the journey,