Dear Congregational Family,

1. Annual Congregational Meetings: The meetings will be held this Sunday, November 21st, immediately following both morning worship services. The purpose of these meetings is to present the 2022 Budget to the congregation for a vote of approval. The Council approved it at their October meeting and will now bring it before the congregation. Thank you so much to Ron Thorhauer, Bill Ward, and the Finance Committee for all their work on this over the past many months. All members of the congregation are encouraged to attend a meeting.

2. Sunday School Family Advent Brunch & Crafts will also be held this Sunday during the Sunday School hour in the Fellowship Hall. Even if you have not yet participated in Sunday School, this will be a great opportunity for you and your children to get involved!

3. Offering Envelopes for 2022: Your envelopes will be available this Sunday. They will be in the Conference Room. Please pick yours up! You should have recently received my letter, along with your pledge card and Time & Talent sheet. Please return those to the church office by way of the offering baskets, mailing, or simply dropping them off. Thank you!

4. Thanksgiving: Next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! Of course, we can be thankful every day!! Make it a habit to begin each day by giving God thanks for something. It will help you begin the day with a positive frame of mind and cultivate a habit that shapes your heart to worship the Lord in all circumstances. Please plan now to participate in our Thanksgiving Day Service at 10:00 a.m. It is a beautiful service of thanks to God!

5. Singleness & Marriage:

* According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of married adults in the U.S. has declined from 64% in 1990 to only 53% in 2019.

* In April, 2020, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that data from 1900 through 2018 show that marriage rates had reached their lowest point in more than 100 years.

* It is also important to note that the Institute for Family found that in 2019 the U.S. experienced its lowest rate of divorce in about 50 years.

* Surprisingly, the decrease in marriage has not been driven by an increase in unmarried cohabitation. That number has gone up only slightly (2% in 30 years).

* Some of the reasons for people not getting married include waiting to pursue further education, debt, job uncertainties, and fear of divorce.

* This phenomenon has led to what is being described as “a loneliness epidemic.” This is not to say that all single people are lonely, nor that married people are not lonely. In January of 2020, before the lockdowns occurred in the United States, global insurance company Cigna released a survey of around 10,400 adults which revealed that 61% of respondents reported feeling lonely. Cigna noted that, “The trends shaping how we work – increasing use of technology, more telecommuting and the always-on work culture – are leaving Americans more stressed, less rested, spending more time on social media, and less time with friends and family, … For the business community, it is resulting in less engagement, less productivity and lower retention levels.” The question remains, how can we help people connect more deeply for their own well-being? That is a good question for churches to wrestle with as well!

6. Sermon: Sermon Title: “The King is Coming!”
Sermon Text: Daniel 7:9,10,13,14; Mark 13:24-37

Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God,

Pastor Carlson