G.I.F.T. 11-15-2020

Growing In Faith Together
November 15, 2020

TODAY’S TEXTS
Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
Psalm 90:1-12
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

GATHERED BY GRACE
Our readings during November speak of the end times. Zephaniah proclaims that the coming day of the Lord will be filled with wrath and distress. Paul says it will come like a thief in the night and urges us to be awake and sober. Jesus tells the parable of the talents, calling us to use our gifts, while we still have time, for the greater and common good.

Discuss in your household or small group:
* What does Paul mean by “day of the Lord”? How is that different than what Zephaniah means? How is it the same?

* The third servant’s great failure is not risking in behalf of his master. What risks are you afraid to take—particularly related to your life as a disciple of Jesus? Why?

* What challenges you in today’s texts?


DAILY BIBLE READINGS
These readings are related to the Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday. Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.

Sunday Matthew 25:14-30
Monday Psalm 9:1-4
Tuesday 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Wednesday Matthew 24:45-47
Thursday Psalm 95:1-5
Friday Revelation 22: 1-5
Saturday Ephesians 1:15-23
Sunday Matthew 25:31-46
Next Sunday: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 961-7a; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Teach me to number my days so I may apply my heart to wisdom

Throughout the Day: Give me the courage to use your gifts boldly.

Blessing to Share: You are a child of God’s light.

For mealtime say responsively: Encourage one another: Build each other up.

November Mealtime Prayer:
Without your sunshine and your rain
We could not have the golden grain;
Without your love we'd not be fed;
We thank you for our daily bread.
Amen.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
Devotional Practice: 
In some ways, this year has made gratitude very difficult; in some ways, this year has made gratitude fairly easy. Take time this week to reflect on gratitude. Here are some questions to start you thinking:  What is different today than it was a year ago for which I give thanks? For what abilities am I grateful? For what am I grateful to able to offer others? Is there something in your life that you’ve come to appreciate because of living 2020? End your reflections with prayer.

November Ritual: 
This is the month of Thanksgiving so start giving thanks! Each day identify 3 things for which you give thanks – record them in a journal, in a computer document, or on a piece of paper. By November 26 you’ll have a bunch of blessings for your Thanksgiving prayer!

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
The holiday season is an important time for all the social service agencies that have helped so many people during (and before) the pandemic. COVID has changed their appeals for help. 
Here are some ideas on how you can help:
Instead of the usual Angel Tree this year, we suggest that you support Toys for Tots. Deadline is December 7, 2020.

The CommUnity Food Bank is still offering holiday meals through December. Each $25 donation will purchase a complete holiday meal for a local family in need. Donations are accepted through December 31, 2020.

The Domestic Violence Intervention Program is in need of winter hats and gloves for children and adults. Please call 319-359-9353 to schedule a drop off at
1105 S. Gilbert Ct. Ste #300, Iowa City.

Common Table, a group of local restaurants, are again offering free Thanksgiving Dinners. Last year they fed over 4000 people! This year, due to COVID19, they are delivering individually packaged meals to local organization like Shelter House and DVIP. But they need pies! If you can donate a pie or two, please bring your donations to Big Grove taproom, 1225 S Gilbert St. Iowa City on Tuesday 11/24 from 3-8 pm. Masks are required when dropping off pies.


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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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