It’s Hallowthankmas! Aren’t we all excited? For those of you who know Father Bob Layne he referred to the )me from Halloween through Christmas as Hallowthankmas. It’s the )me that we pull out all the stops from now un)l a-er Christmas. Actually, I love Halloween and all the events through the month of November. In fact, November is one of my favorite months. Like March, a transition month from winter to spring, November is a transition month from fall to winter and so it’s a little bit fall and a little bit winter. Veterans Day is in November and I’m so glad that St. Andrew’s is honoring that day and offering hospitality and refreshments to everyone gathered at Garret Park for the observance. To honor others is part of what worshipping communities do as part of life together and it speaks well of us that members of St. Andrew’s value the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. And of course, it’s )me to vote in November. I love voting and I have made it a point not to miss an election. If at all possible, I don’t like to vote early. I enjoy walking into the polling place on Elec)on Day, in Newton it’s always at a church, and seeing the volunteer workers, my neighbors exercising their freedom to vote, and just in general soaking up the aura of our precious democracy in ac)on. Be informed and then vote. Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that it’s about being with family and friends and eating until you’re passed out in front of the tv. I usually get assigned cooking the mashed potatoes and I really get into it. Mashing potatoes by hand. I love it. What I really love is that it is a )me set aside to reflect and give thanks. And it’s fun to come up with a new meal )me blessing to try out on the family. Having All Saints Day and the beginning of the Stewardship drive in the same month takes on special meaning and both events complement each other. Stewardship is reflecting on the past while looking to the future. Knowing the lives, the devotion, and the love of the saints that we acknowledge on All Saints Day inspires us to carry on what they left for us as we go forth into the new year doing ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. I am so excited and optimistic about the coming year for St. Andrew’s and being a part of the Jesus Movement. During the month of November the vestry will collect your input as to what we can celebrate about St. Andrew’s, what needs to be improved, and your dreams for St. Andrew’s and our lives together as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. Please look at the )me of deciding what you can do regarding the stewardship of St. Andrew’s as a )me of thinking about exciting possibilities. Let’s be open to the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. And I can’t forget that November is the month in which Jill and I were married at the First Presbyterian Church right here in Derby. Happy Hallowthankmas! Faithfully yours, Fr. Mike

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