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Dear Partners November 2021



"O God beyond all praising, we worship you today and sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay; for we can only wonder at ev’ry gift you send, at blessings without number and mercies without end: we lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word, we honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord. Then hear, O Gracious Savior, accept the love we bring, that we who know your favor may serve you as our King; and whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill, we’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still…" O God Beyond All Praising, ELW # 880

The month of November is full and rich with special worship and events giving us opportunities to remember and give thanks for all our blessings, especially for the saints who have gone before us, and the abundant life God gives through Jesus Christ, our Lord. At the end of November, we celebrate Christ who is King and reigns with love, very different from human rulers, and we usher in a new Church Year with the beginning of Advent. All are invited to join in remembrance, giving thanks and celebrating. We are united, whether we gather in-person or through digital means. The following are highlights of the month.  You may see Tidings, our newsletter for more information.  That can be found under the Resources section of the website.

November 7: All Saints Sunday – in worship, we remember by name members and loved ones who have died in the last year; all are invited to light a candle in memory of loved ones who have died at any time. This will be the last Sunday of outdoor worship in Mount Hebron Cemetery. Another outdoor worship option will be offered at 11:00 AM behind the church in the alley beginning November 14.

November 14: Harvest Sunday – all are invited to bring non-perishable food items for CCAP. (see article on page 8) Worship - 10:00 AM indoor and live-streamed 11:00 AM a brief service of Holy Communion outdoor behind the church begins

November 21: Christ the King Sunday Thomas Keesecker Concert, 3:00 PM, in-person, musical pieces from his CD, The Quiet Harvest, (also called “Piano and Pie”) - Individual pies will be given out to take home.

November 28: The First Sunday of Advent Advent log kits will be available for pick-up 9:30—10:00 AM or 4:30—5:00 PM in drive through church alley (see article on page 6 of the newsletter)

Your Partners in Ministry,

Pastor Martha Miller Sims Pastor Jonathan M. Boynton

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Posted by Martha Miller Sims

The Rev. Martha Miller Sims, M.Div., has served as pastor of Grace since July 2002 and Senior Pastor since 2013. She is an alumna of the University of Arizona having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies in 1988 and a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina in 1994. Pastor Sims was ordained in 1994 and first served the Gravel Spring/St. John Lutheran Parish in Frederick County, Virginia. In 1998, she was called to serve two half-time positions as Campus Pastor at James Madison University and as Associate Pastor of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prior to seminary, she served as Minister to Youth and Young Adults at Dove of Peace Lutheran Church in Tucson, Arizona. She received a certificate in Spiritual Direction from Sursum Corda in 2009 and training as a coach for congregations and clergy in the Virginia Synod. She also serves as Dean of the Northern Valley Conference of the Virginia Synod. Her husband, The Rev. George L. Sims, is a retired pastor of the ELCA.

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