The Pastor's Ponderings is a weekly note from one of the pastors that is sent to the congregation. If you would like to be included in the list of email subscribers to the Ponderings, you can subscribe here. Current subscribers wishing to unsubscribe can do that here as well.

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I wanted to write to wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and to invite you to join us this weekend for worship as we start the season of Advent. My prayer is that this Thanksgiving might create a space for an even deeper gratitude to our God, who provides so richly, even in this unusual time. One hymn that is a Thanksgiving staple is called "We Gather Together." This year, perhaps, our physical gathering may be limited, but still, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are joined where we are, in gratitude and love. Even if you are the only person physically at your table today, you are not alone. Sing with me, church....

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing. He chastens and hastens his will to make known. The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing-sing praises to his name, he forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, ordering, maintaining his kingdom divine. So from the beginning the fight we were winning. Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be thine.

We do all extol thee, thou leader triumphant, and pray that thou still our defender will be. Let thy congregation escape tribulation. Thy name be ever praised, O Lord, make us free!

This weekend we'll begin the season of Advent with songs and candles and the start of our series, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas. Y'all come!

See you "in Church,"
Pastor Mandy

PS It's not too late to honor Jesus, our King, with our giving. Make your commitment on our website (the yellow button) at www.glenmarumc.org. I know many of you intend to keep giving without taking this formal step, and that's fine. But filling out the intention card helps us plan, so I encourage you to join me in this effort. Thanks to all who have given and continue to give! Your giving helps us be a blessing to others on Thanksgiving and every day of the year!


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Giving Thanks

Dear Glen Mar friends,

Thanksgiving is on its way - and if you're like us, Thanksgiving looks like staying at home and hunkering down with folks I already live with. So much feels so different. And yet, I'm thankful this year for so many things I normally take for granted. I'm thankful for health and for companionship of spouse and children. I'm thankful for the chance to use technology to stay connected to friends and family. I'm thankful for online worship and phones that allow me to reach out to Glen Mar folks, and for all the people who help make ministry happen.

I'm thankful for the chance to share my blessings with the church and with the world through giving. Our Mission Possible campaign, Wish Upon a Star, Operation Christmas Child, and Journey to Bethlehem!

I'm thankful for Christmas Eve plans that will bless folks who need or want to be at home, and people who would want to come sing Silent Night and light candles/glowsticks in a safe way. Stay tuned for more details on that soon. : )

Join us in worship this weekend where we will explore what it means for our lives and for our Thanksgivings "If Jesus is King." We are capping attendance at 25 on advice of our task force and Drs. Mark and Dianne Landrum who are part of it. Sign up here for in person attendance: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D49AFAF2AA0F9C52-sunday.

Check out this JHU safety video, attached, with our own Dr. Mark Landrum, sharing tips for Holiday Celebrations this year - and let's continue to pray for front line workers and for each other. Thank you for being "the Church" in this unusual and hard time. With God's help, we will get through this, together.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTEglLtAlsU

See you "in Church",
Pastor Mandy


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Words about Worship

Dear Glen Mar friends,

Mission Possible was so much fun, and such a great time of celebrating all that God has done and is planning for Glen Mar Church! Thank you so much to those who have shared their estimates of giving (Mission Possible Cards) with us, either in paper form or online. If you have not shared yet, please know that we really need your support. With your help, we can reach more people with the love, hope, and life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Go to our website to join in this important mission! www.glenmarumc.org.

Join us in worship this weekend where we will baptize 4 new Glen Martians, 4 new members of the family of God! Sign up here for in person attendance: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D49AFAF2AA0F9C52-sunday.

I have been so grateful for our Saturday Night Live service, which provided such a great way for us to gather outdoors for worship. We have tried to move it indoors but have found that attendance is not there for it - perhaps because of the online Sunday worship (for people who need to stay home) and the chance for small groups to attend on Sundays. In order to use our resources the best way we can preparing for Advent and Christmas, we've decided to suspend Vespers for now. This Saturday will be our last for a while, until such time that we can gather together more easily and have bigger demand for it. Dan Eschliman and the fantastic musicians that have supported Saturday nights will make our Sunday worship well-supported and even more meaningful. I'm so thankful for Dan, Jim, Will, Alec, Lydia, and the amazing musicians and singers that supported that service - and I'll look forward to see how God is leading Glen Mar to invite others to worship in new ways in this time of online ministry! Sign up here for this Saturday's service https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b4caaac2aa31-saturday

See you "in Church",
Pastor Mandy


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Chosen

Dear Glen Mar friends,

As votes are counted, we don't have a declared "winner" of the presidential election as I type this on Wednesday morning, but Jesus tells us he calls us his friends, that he chose us - me and you - Republican, Democrat, Independent - to bear fruit that will last. As Jesus said:

"This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. I command these things to you, that you may love one another." John 15:12-17.

This Sunday I hope you'll make worship as much of a priority as casting your political ballot. This Sunday, we will cast our ballots for Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We'll cast our ballots for faith, hope, and love. We'll cast our ballots in commitment, as we share our Mission Possible commitments to reach out in Jesus' name to our neighbor, and to be a blessing to our community in new and deeper ways. We'll share our Estimates of Giving - where we will in our giving make a statement about our gratitude for a God who provides, and a Savior that redeems and a Holy Spirit that is still breathing new life into "dry bones." I hope you'll join us, online or in person, Sunday at 10 am.

I'll also be available "in person" outside to receive your Mission Possible cards on Sunday from 11-1 in the upper parking lot and as much of the 11-1 Saturday slot as I can cover after charge conference is over. : )

Reserve your spot here for Sunday worship https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D49AFAF2AA0F9C52-sunday

And if you're looking for a more casual, interactive worship opportunity, Saturday Night Live is moving indoors, where we'll start a study of The Sermon on the Mount. See link here to sign up. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b4caaac2aa31-saturday

See you "in church,"
Pastor Mandy


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Election Day

Dear Glen Mar friends,

On this Election Day, we give thanks for the right to vote, and for the blessings of living in this country. We pray for a full, fair, safe, and peaceful election, and for unity and brotherhood in working together for the common good in the days that follow.

I was thinking about a great sermon I heard once called, "Sunday's Comin'." It talked about all the travails of Jesus' last week (and the travails of our life together). Monday was full of pain and suffering, but..."Sunday's Comin'." I would invite you to join me in prayer for today and for this week, trusting that "Sunday's Comin'."

Our true King is not running for office today. His name is Jesus and he is our Lord, above all other loyalties. No matter what happens today, we have an important mission - to show and to share the love of Jesus, to be Christ's hands and feet in this world and to be "repairers of the breach, and restorers of streets to live in," as Isaiah writes.

One way some preachers express this is to say that the eagle, as beautiful as it is, does not fly higher than the cross. While I encourage everyone to vote today, I want to encourage us also, that our hope and our life do not reside in the outcome of what happens. Our hope is in Jesus Christ our Lord, and our work is to follow him, and to bend our lives and loyalties into the shape of the cross. Our job is to work for the Kingdom of God, which sometimes is expressed and seen in politics, and sometimes not. Where those circles overlap, you will find us at work. We are not called to abandon this work, but we can rest assured that, "the eagle doesn't fly higher than the cross."

See you "in church" - no matter what!
Pastor Mandy


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