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Truly thankful

November 07, 2016

Thanksgiving came early for Sherrill and me this year. You are the reason for that. 

Thank you for your compassionate response to Sherrill’s accident. Her recovery from a fractured pelvis is on track and should be complete in six to eight weeks. Your prayers and other forms of encouragement are playing an important role in her healing. That is why I want you to know that we are thanking God for you. We have learned that the South Georgia Conference has a tremendous capacity for caring in the name of Christ. Sherrill and I thank you for your healing ministry to us. 

Another reason for thanksgiving has emerged over the past eight weeks as I have had the opportunity to preach and to meet with laity and clergy in each of our six districts. A couple of those meetings are being rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew and Sherrill’s accident. Praise God for the vitality I have seen in the South Georgia Conference! I am more excited than ever about the opportunity to serve with you, for truly we are “Alive Together in Christ” (Ephesians 2:5).

Thanksgiving is also in order for the immediate and ongoing response of our conference to the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. Allison Lindsey and Luis Morales kept us connected through updates about the path of the storm, damage assessments, and specific ways of helpfully responding. Many of our churches served as shelters for evacuees. Our members gave to special offerings for the disaster relief effort.   

Notice how St. Paul includes thanksgiving in this passage from 1 Timothy 2:1-4:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

This is right and acceptable in the sight of God our savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Above all, what Christians have to be thankful for is that God wills and works for the salvation of all people. God desires everyone to be saved. That truth leads us to pray confidently for all people. 

As the national election approaches I ask you to join me in praying for our nation and for all those who will be elected to public office. We pray confidently because we know God is able to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine. For that, we can be truly thankful!

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