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It has truly been a time of firsts for me.  So far I have done my first funeral and celebrated my first Eucharist.  Last weekend I baptized my first babies and celebrated at my first evensong.  And next weekend will be my first wedding.  I am truly humbled and honored that in my first three months of being a priest so many of you have trusted me with such near and dear parts of your life.  This weekend I’ll be speaking at the adult forum about how this has been for me and will be preaching as well.  I welcome your questions and feedback as we go along in this year of firsts together.

These past two weeks have also been my first being the solo priest at a congregation.  And while I have enjoyed and learned much in this time, I will be very happy to have the Rev. Peggy Tuttle join us on Monday as our next interim rector.  This is not Peggy’s first time as an interim rector, and, therefore, she will bring a wealth of experience that will help us through these final stages of our interim time.  Please join me in welcoming Peggy into our midst.

It is hard to believe, but we are already close to the time of Advent, the first of our year in liturgical time.  If this is your first time or first time in a long time celebrating Advent and Christmas with us we encourage you to keep an eye out for the many wonderful offerings our church provides during this season.  I’ll just name a few here that you won’t want to miss.  Saturday, December 4th @ 5:45 pm is our annual Christmas Party.  Thursday, December 9th @ 7pm is the first of our contemplative service offerings in the gym.  Sunday, December 19th @ 4 pm is our service of lessons and carols in the sanctuary.

It is indeed a time of learning and growing, praying and playing, and for that and many other blessings we are to be grateful.  So in this season of gratitude I offer a prayer of thanksgiving:

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us.  We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all these things.  Amen.

With Gratitude,

Keely +

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