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MOnday Morning News

Nov. 19, 2018

Hi All,
 When I first came to Montana I remember hearing that state law required you to stop and give aid to anyone in trouble by the side of the road. I never checked out whether this was true but it always seemed like good sense and I saw no reason to doubt it. Even if it never was the law, it certainly is the right thing to do. In our part of the state, where the traffic is constant and the streams of cars never seem to stop, it’s hard to remember that much of Montana is mighty isolated. You can sit for hours and never see another person, let alone a car. Helping out someone in need is just the way it needs to be. Passing someone by could even be a death sentence on a cold, winter day.

In the desert land that is the backdrop for the stories we read in Scripture, all of the basics – food, water, shelter – were uncommon commodities. Taking care of the stranger at your tent flap could be the difference between life or death. No wonder hospitality was such an imperative! The Bible is filled with examples of welcoming the stranger and caring for the traveler. Abraham entertaining three strangers on the day he and Sarah heard the good news of a son (Genesis 18), a poor widow in the town of Zarephath taking in the prophet Elijah during a great famine (I Kings 17), Jesus eating with tax collectors, sinners and other unsavory sorts, our Lord’s parables about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) and the faithful servants (Matthew 25), the commands in Romans (12:3) and Hebrews (13:2) to show hospitality to strangers: it’s all about extending kindness and life to strangers.

Hospitality – the readiness to give comfort and safe haven to the stranger in our midst – runs all through Scripture. It also runs deep in the tradition of Christ’s church. The need for hospitality wasn’t lost on those who founded monasteries deep in our Christian past. The Rule of Saint Benedict which has served as the most common guide for monasteries for centuries says, “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say, ‘I came as a guest, and you received Me’ (Matt. 25:35)”. (The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 53.) Written by Benedict of Nursia in 529, the Rule has stood the test of time and tradition. As God’s people (monks and otherwise) throughout time have sought to be faithful to Christ the extension of hospitality has been a vital part of their life together.

And hospitality has certainly been a part of what we are all about. This season of thanks is where we especially practice welcoming and nurturing strangers and neighbors. In Dayton we had our annual Thanksgiving Feast last Thursday. As I remember this grew out of the generosity of Leo Lesh who was a part of Dayton congregation for many years. And the tradition continues. This last week we had over 50 folks come by for the traditional dinner. In Polson, our best example of hospitality is our monthly Community Dinner. Many folks from around the community come by for food and fellowship each month.

God calls us to hospitality. May we continue to practice it and may we find even more ways to extend it. Who know, we might even “…entertain angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

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Scriptures for November 24, 2018
Second Samuel 23:1–7
Psalm 93:1-5
First Thessalonians 5.12-18
Luke 17:11-19

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Prayer Requests from November 18, 2018
Those affected by and fighting wildfires, Jewell, Pat, Diane, Richard, Lenore, Linda, Mariska, Ken, Gary, Steve, Jenn, Joyce and her family, Donna, Rocky, Dan, Roger and Lillian

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MONDAY, November 19
Dayton-Session 1:00 PM
Polson - Women’s Salad Supper 5:30 PM

TUESDAY, November 20
Dayton– No Bible Study

WEDNESDAY, November 21
Polson - No Bible Study
Polson – Bell Choir Rehearsal 5:00 PM
Polson – Chancel Choir Rehearsal 6:30 PM

THURSDAY, November 22
Happy Thanksgiving!

FRIDAY, November 23
Polson – Alanon Meeting 8:00 PM

SUNDAY, November 25
Dayton-Worship 9:00 AM
Polson – Adult Study 9:00 AM
Polson – Children’s Learning Time 11:00 AM
Polson - Worship 11:00 AM

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Due to Thanksgiving, our Tuesday and Wednesday morning Bible Studies won’t be happening this week. We will meet the following week. In Dayton we get together on Tuesday, November 27th from 10:00 to 11:30 AM as we continue reading through Ezra. In Polson we return to reading through Matthew on Wednesday, November 28th from 9:30 to 11:00 AM. We will be in chapters 17 and 18 of Matthew.

Every year the Polson Senior Citizens Center puts on a great Thanksgiving Feast with all the trimmings. Everyone (you don’t even have to have gray hair!) is welcome on Thanks giving Day, November 22nd from 11:00 to 2:00.

Christmas Season Decorating:
• In Dayton we’ll be decorating the church on Saturday, December 1st from 10:00 to noon. Lunch will be served following.
• In Polson we’ll be decorating the sanctuary on Saturday, December 1st from 9:30 to noon.

Advent is coming and one of our favorite activities for the season has been 100 hats. We’re going to switch it around a bit this year though. Instead of collecting 100 hats we’ll collect 100 cozies. A cozie can be anything to keep you warm. This includes hats but also gloves or mittens, scarves, and socks.



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