This coming Sunday, December 3, 2023, is “Decoration Sunday,” the day we decorate the church sanctuary for Christmas. Forest Buhler and Whitney Weyeneth will be our readers. If you haven’t experienced Decoration Sunday yet, I don’t know how to describe it; I’ve never seen anything like it before at any other church. The best I can do is invite you to come and see.
From Sheryl Fjell: The Outreach Committee has designated this Sunday’s Thanksgiving Offering for the Flint Hills Breadbasket. The church receives 1-2 boxes of food, twice a month to help fill our Blessing Box. With this box of food, we are able to offer a variety of snacks, mixes and canned goods. You can place your gift in the offering plate or donate online at www.caumcmanhattan.org/give.
Services for Frederick L. “Lee” O’Neill will be Monday, November 27, 2023 at 11a.m. in the sanctuary. A graveside will be held at Sunset Cemetery at 10 a.m. Lee was born May 9, 1925 and died November 17, 2023. An obituary can be found here.
I’m preaching on thankfulness this Sunday. Specifically, I want to focus what God has given us in our common life together as a congregation. So what are you thankful for at College Avenue United Methodist Church?
Going through my email inbox today, I found these words of wisdom and hope from the late Frederick Buechner:
“The Final Secret, I think, is this: that the words ‘You shall love the Lord your God’ become in the end less a command than a promise. And the promise is that . . . we will come to love him at last as from the first he has loved us.” 
I’ve shared this quote with you before. But re-reading it today, it occurred to me that John Wesley had expressed the same sentiment. I heard it in seminary in a lecture on John Wesley’s theology by Dr. Hal Knight. I looked it up and confirmed that two centuries before Frederick Buechner, John Wesley wrote:
“‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,’ is not only a direction what I shall do, but a promise of what God will do in me.” 
Christ not only commanded us to love God and neighbor, he promised us the power to do so. Ultimately, it is not so much that we have to love but that we are allowed and enabled to do so. That indeed is good news.
 Frederick Buechner, The Final Secret, June 19, 2017, http://www.frederickbuechner.com.
 John Wesley, “A Plain Account of Genuine Christianity” cited in Henry H. Knight , “The Promises of God,” Catalyst Resources, accessed November 16, 2023, https://catalystresources.org/the-promises-of-god/.
From the Newsletter:
Following the worship service, the Christian Family and Friendship Commission will host a potluck on Sunday, November 19, 2023. Turkey, stuffing, and potatoes will be provided. The committee encourages everyone to bring a side dish. All are welcome, and your contribution is appreciated.
Received from Sheryl Fjell, Outreach Commission Chair:
Hear ye, Hear ye! The Nuts Have Arrived!!
Please pick up your order on Wednesday, November 15, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 16, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., or Friday, November 17, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thank you for making this fundraiser a HUGE success!
From Amy Westfahl:
“A reminder that on Tuesday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m. Rev. Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson will speak on becoming and being an affirming United Methodist church. Ashley is an ordained Deacon serving at Calvary UMC in Wichita, Kansas. All are welcome! Childcare will be provided.”
A reminder that there will be a Service of Life, Death, and Resurrection for Chuck Havlicek in the sanctuary on November 10, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. The family will greet friends at a visitation beginning at 12:30 p.m.