Dear Congregational Family,

1. Voting: Yes, in PA, we have some elections in which to vote today. As Christians, we are citizens of two kingdoms. Our citizenship to the spiritual kingdom of Christ is our first allegiance, but we also participate in the earthly kingdom of this world. Thankfully in the U.S. we have the privilege of voting for our leaders. Please pray and vote.

2. Annual Congregational Budget Meeting: Today, our annual budget was mailed out to you. Please watch for it. Our congregational meeting to present and (hopefully) approve the budget will be held immediately after each of the morning services on November 17th. Please plan to attend.

3. State of the church in America: Recently Pew Research, released a new study that included alarming data about the steep decline in religious adherents in the United States over the last decade. The following points were noted:
a. According to the data, from 2009-2019 there has been a massive drop in the number of people who identify as Christians (77% to 65%).
b. At the same time there has been a marked increase in the number of people claiming no religious affiliation at all (17% to 26%).
c. This clearly confirms the rapid rate of secularization taking place across the country and confronts us as Christians with difficult questions about the future. There is a lot at stake in how we respond to these trends. The answer is found not in seeking to escape our vulnerabilities, but in renewing our hope in the power of the gospel.
· We certainly need to be in prayer for a spiritual awakening to sweep across our land! May it begin in our own hearts!

4. Fall Stewardship: Hopefully you have taken time to read my letter from the other week and to fill out your Pledge Card and “Time & Talent” sheet. Please return these, in the mail or simply drop them off at church or put them in the offering plate. Also, the 2020 offering envelopes are now available in the Conference Room for you to pick up. Together, we want to offer God our “Treasures, Time and Talents.”

5. Mid-Fall Sermon Mini-Series: This Sunday we will conclude our four-part sermon series from the book of II Timothy. This was the last letter of the Apostle Paul, and was written to Timothy concerning “Keeping the Faith” as he lived and ministered in the challenging city of Ephesus.

6. Sermon text for this Sunday is II Timothy 4. The title is “Finish the Race!”

God bless you as we continue,
“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”
Pastor Carlson