That’s really all I want to say in this month’s installment of our Pathway newsletter.
Now, at this point some of you are thinking, “It’s not November. THAT’S Thanksgiving month. Poor Pastor Jeff has his dates mixed up.” I’m certainly not above getting my dates mixed up, but in this case I am aware that it is October. I just thought “Thank you” sounded better than “Trick-or-Treat.”
Truth be told, I couldn’t wait until next month to express my appreciation for you. It has been bubbling up inside and I just wanted to let it out. As the Apostle Paul signs off his letter to the Romans he writes, “I rejoice because of you.” (Romans 16:19). I understand that sentiment.
One of the reasons for my thanksgiving is your continued participation in the outreach bag ministry. Every month those familiar blue bags are placed on tables at the exits and every month they disappear only to return one week later filled with items to bless others in need. The most recent effort focused on providing school supplies to area elementary classrooms. The result was 41 large boxes packed with pencils, paper, erasers — and much more — delivered to some delighted teachers. And those teachers have been expressing their thanks as well. Incidentally, it was my privilege to be invited to pray at a recent school board meeting where I heard even more words of thanks for Pathway Church and your heart for blessing our community.
Another reason I rejoice because of you, to use Paul’s words, was your response to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. In one somewhat spontaneous offering, you gave nearly $11,000. On top of that, a team is traveling to the Houston area at the end of October to be a part of the restoration effort. Thank you.
I also recently received a report from Living Water International on the wells funded by your ongoing gifts to Give Joy to the World. There have been approximately 70 such wells you have provided and we’ll be renewing that effort again through the upcoming Christmas season.
Then there’s the 93 percent from our church family who jumped on board with the ALL IN initiative to provide a building to reach children in our community who need to learn about Jesus and help others grow more fully in Him. Then there are the efforts to advance the gospel partnership in Orkarkar, Kenya, spurring a community to come to life and thrive far beyond expectations. Then there are other endeavors to reach out through mission trips to Canada and Italy and the Dominican Republic. I could go on.
There are lots of great things you’re engaged in that make me thankful, but none of those above is the biggest reason. The biggest reason I am thankful is because there is a compelling urgency in the heart of the people of Pathway to make a difference for good and for the gospel. The areas of service, such as those identified above, will likely change in the months and years to come. However, it is my deep and abiding prayer that our hearts will always be committed to following the lead of Jesus, looking beyond ourselves, meeting needs and advancing the good news of the gospel.
I believe that is your desire and passion as well. And for that I say …