November 2020 Monthly Letter

Dear Reconcilers,

We still face many challenges in our country right now but this month I want to focus on Thanksgiving and the many blessings we have received.

In a few days we will celebrate Thanksgiving, my family’s favorite holiday. We always enjoy the delicious food and end up eating too much. My favorite part of the holiday is sitting around the table after dinner and listening to everyone (including the children) share something they are thankful for. We will not be having a big dinner this year with our family so I will share some of the things I am thankful for this year with you, our fellow reconcilers.

I am thankful for all of you and for the financial support you have given to this ministry—the five and ten dollars that some of you have sent in. I am thankful for all the prayers that help us to keep moving forward.

I am thankful for Zoom, so our church can continue to meet virtually. My wife hosted a Zoom conference in September for ministers’ wives. We’ve attended Zoom birthday parties and a Zoom anniversary. I am very thankful that we can use this platform to stay connected and safe doing this time.

I asked a couple of our readers to share what they are thankful for right now. Here’s how they responded:

We are truly looking forward to Thanksgiving, a time to focus on God’s abundant grace in our lives. Though it has been hard for so many of us during the Covid pandemic, fires, hurricanes, floods and isolation as a result of the lockdowns, we know that God is sovereign and that He is the continual source of our joy. Even though for months, we were not able to physically meet together and worship face-to-face, something miraculous has happened. Suddenly, all over Facebook and Youtube, churches began uploading their sermons, as well as praise and worship. We were able to virtually visit and worship with churches around the nation and the world. It was awesome! We did not need to feel isolated. And the Church was never as visible to the world as it is now. We even enjoyed a very inspiring Elders’ Wives Conference during the Labor Day Weekend via Zoom. We experienced real fellowship with one another, even though it was over the internet. God is so good. We give Him thanks that we are more united than ever with believers around the globe. We pray for this unity and peace to spread throughout the entire nation and the world. —Raul and Sylvia Ramos

In mid-March when the world shut down, I realized what it was like to take a sabbatical. My husband was considered essential, so he continued to go to work every day. I, on the other hand, had more time than I’d ever dreamed of. I had time to meditate, read scripture, pray, journal, read books, watch podcasts, declutter, go for long walks and just “be.” I read much and participated in group discussions through Zoom on the topic of systemic racism. I appreciated having the time to dig deeper. I enjoyed a lot of home cooked meals. I’m still trying to shed the extra pounds. I appreciated being able to go to the grocery and shop with the seniors. But I would say that what I learned to appreciate more than anything was the importance of friends and family. When something is taken away, you come to realize how important and vital to good health the human connection is. You appreciate hugs, gathering together, eating meals and sharing ideas with others. It truly became clear to me through this lockdown that relationships are the greatest joys and blessings of this life. —Vicki Hart

We know that we can be thankful everyday and should be. It is a blessing when the country can stop focusing on our challenges and show our gratitude on at least one day of the year. Consider the following scriptures as you celebrate this year:

“I will praise the name of God with a song: I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

As we come to together for Thanksgiving, have a wonderful day and remember how blessed you are to be able to be with your family and friends. I hope you will have a chance to share with others what you are thankful for this year.

I will continue to pray for you and your families. Stay safe.