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November 24, 2019

Dear Church,

This week we kick off the holiday season. This season often brings high expectations for a cozy and festive time of year. However, for many this time of year is tinged with sadness, anxiety, or depression. Research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift our spirits — expressing gratitude.

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what we receive, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, we acknowledge the goodness in our lives. In the process, we usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside ourselves. As a result, gratitude also helps us connect to something larger than themselves, to other people and to God.

Greater happiness is strongly and consistently associated with gratitude. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

We feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. We can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (recognizing and counting our blessings), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude).

Today I have a Thanksgiving prayer and a recipe for you.

Holy God, on Thanksgiving Day, we bow our hearts to you and pray. We give you thanks for all you've done, especially for the gift of Jesus, your Son. For beauty in nature, for joy and health, friends, and family. For daily provision, your mercy and care, these are the blessings you graciously share. So today we offer words of praise with a promise to follow you all of our days. Amen.

Thanksgiving Nachos


1 bag Ruffles potato chips

1 c. Gouda

1 c. cooked, shredded turkey

1 1/2 c. leftover stuffing

1 can cranberry sauce

1/2 c. turkey gravy


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. As it heats, spread potato chips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with half of the cheese, turkey, and stuffing. Top with more chips and remaining cheese, turkey and stuffing. Bake until the cheese has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Top with dollops of cranberry sauce and garnish with a drizzle of turkey gravy.

Blessings on the journey,

Pastor Monica

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