October 25, 2018

On the first three Sundays of November I will preach a series of sermons titled “November Prayers.” The three prayers I will call to our attention are: A Prayer for the Saints, A Prayer for the Church and A Prayer of Blessing on Our Gifts. I will lift up these prayers in the hope that they might encourage us to be good stewards of our heritage, our here and now, and our hope. This is the prayer we will offer together on All Saints Sunday, November 4.

God of all that is good, We ask the help of those men and women who have struggled and stood firm, Who loved one another. Who worked for justice and peace, Who healed the sick and fed the hungry and who followed your Word. Make us and all those we love worthy to be called your saints. We ask this through your loving Son, Jesus Christ. Amen (Toronto District Catholic School Board)

On the first Tuesday of the month our nation will go to the polls in the mid-term elections. There is a long history (especially in New England) in the United States of Election Day sermons. Here is an excerpt from a sermon preached by Samuel West, a Congregational Minister from Massachusetts, on Election Day in May of 1776.

If magistrates (a general term for all elected officials) are ministers of God only because the law of God and reason points out the necessity of such an institution for the good of mankind, it follows, that whenever they pursue measures directly destructive of the public good they cease being God’s ministers, they forfeit their right to obedience from the subject, they become the pests of society, and the community is under the strongest obligation of duty, both to God and to its own members, to resist and oppose them, which will be so far from resisting the ordinance of God that it will be strictly obeying his commands.

These words from before the American Revolution have a contemporary ring to them do they not? Let’s keep them in mind as we exercise our sacred right to vote.

On the last Saturday of the month, November 24th, Karen and I invite you to stop by for an open house we are hosting in celebration of our 40th Anniversary (November 25th is the actual day) and the completion of our kitchen remodel. You are our extended family and we want to share our joy with you. Your presence will be a gift as will cards reminding us that you were there. An RSVP to jim@labcoakland,org would be appreciated.

Peace,

Jim H.