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Give Thanks

Dear Morehead Friends and Family,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday as you connect with family and friends, gather around the table, and give thanks. I am writing to you today to express my deep gratitude for God’s work among you this year and to invite you to prayerfully consider a year-end financial gift to Morehead United Methodist Church.

So much of our life as disciples of Jesus are shaped by the practice of gratitude. We even call one of our most sacred rituals, communion, The Great Thanksgiving. One of my favorite lines in our traditional liturgy for communion is when you all say, “It is right to give our thanks and praise!” and I respond back with “It is right, and a good, and a joyful thing, always and everywhere, to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

It is right, and a good, and a joyful thing, always and everywhere, to give thanks to our God. Today, I thank God for the honor of being your lead pastor. Both Pastor Paul and I are grateful to accompany you all in discipleship and mission. You are a community that is warm, welcoming, and who longs to grow in Christ. It is beautiful to behold!

I am thankful for the many moments of worship, discipleship, service, and outreach that has happened at Morehead in 2022. Even in a year when you had so much transition; a new pastoral appointment, a new partnership with St. Timothy’s UMC, and hiring two more staff in Pastor Paul and Alicia Shaw. We all have walked by faith amid many unknowns this year. But, it is a good thing, always and everywhere, even in times of change and unknowns, to give thanks to God! So, here are a few photos to celebrate the amazing work of God among you in 2022. Let us give thanks and praise!

Just as you walked by faith amid the unknowns of 2022, next year will also be a year of walking by faith. Many congregations are being challenged to re-imagine how to live out our mission in this post-covid world. We have an opportunity to praise God for the past and step boldly into the future. In 2023, with the Administrative Council’s blessing, Pastor Paul and I will walk with you all in crafting a fresh mission and vision for Morehead UMC. Pastor Paul and I are excited and hopeful as we talk with church leaders about this process. We sense the Spirit’s stirring and look forward to sharing more about how we will structure this special season of spiritual discernment and communal visioning.

As I share gratitude for 2022 and hope for 2023, I also want to tell you of a practical need we have at MUMC. In a year with a lot of transitions in our church and a lot of instability in our nation’s economy, giving has been down at Morehead UMC. We have fallen behind on meeting our annual budget and I want to ask you to prayerfully consider a year-end gift to Morehead UMC. Your generous financial gifts in December will help us end the year with a stable financial footing and strengthen the foundations of our 2023 visioning process. Thank you for considering what you can give financially to help us all be good stewards of our shared mission and ministry.

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I also want to invite everyone, whether you’re able to give financially or not, to offer your prayers and presence to the coming visioning process. Would you start praying now? Would you commit to yourself that you will show up for the visioning process to come? Thank you for considering these gifts as well.

Friends, amid the good ministry that has happened, amid the good future God has for us, even amid our times financial need, it is a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere, to give thanks to God Almighty. And so, I thank God for you, the disciples of Jesus Christ who make up the community of Morehead UMC. May our gratitude to God the Father, and our faith in Jesus Christ, and our dependence on the Holy Spirit carry us into life changing mission and ministry.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pastor Nikki Raye Rice

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