Dear Church Family,

Hopefully, everyone has seen the announcement which has been in the bulletin for the last couple of weeks concerning the upcoming “West Texas PCA Joint Thanksgiving Service.” But, just in case, here’s a reminder.

Who: Three west Texas churches of the North Texas Presbytery: Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Amarillo), Providence Presbyterian Church (Lubbock), and Providence Presbyterian Church (Midland).

What: Joint Thanksgiving Service, followed by refreshments and fellowship (those attending from Midland are asked to bring a dessert).

Where: Providence Presbyterian Church in Lubbock (3301 34th St, Lubbock, TX  79410).

When: This Sunday, November 22nd at 5:30 pm (for those who would like to carpool, meet at the church at 3:00 pm – it’s about a two hour drive).

Why: I recognize that attending this Joint Thanksgiving Service requires an unusual time commitment (two hour drive there, about one to two hours for the service and visiting with folks from other churches, and another two hour drive home), so you might be wondering why it would be worth it to attend. Well, here are several reasons:

(1) To give thanks to God as our Creator. We will gather together as human beings to give thanks to God for the blessings that we enjoy on this earth and in this country. The Scriptures tell us that everything that every good thing that we enjoy in this life is a gift from God (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; James 1:17) and that we should be grateful and worship Him as our Creator (Exodus 20:9-11).

(2) To give thanks to God as our Redeemer. We will gather together as the Redeemed of the Lord to give thanks for the salvation and freedom that we have as those who are in Christ. Those who trust in Christ have been freed from sin and the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:11-14) and been granted eternal life and an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven (John 17:2; Ephesians 1:11-14). As the church and body of Christ, we are the sheep of His pasture and therefore ought to praise, bless, and give Him thanks (Deuteronomy 5:13-15; Psalm 100).

(3) To unite in worship and fellowship with fellow believers in our presbytery and denomination. Let’s face it, we are a bit geographically isolated out here in west Texas. Here is an opportunity to gather together with like-minded Christians from our own presbytery, join together in prayer and praise, hear the Word of God preached by a pastor from one of our sister churches, and afterward, to visit with some folks while drinking coffee and eating finger foods. Seriously, it’s a good opportunity to be reminded – if only in a small way – of the greater community of believers and the kingdom of God beyond our church and our city.

(4) To unite in worship and fellowship with those from our own church. In Lubbock, we’ll have the opportunity to visit with those from Midland, but don’t forget about that long car ride there and back as an opportunity to get to know others from our own church! (Or, if you ride with my family and me, you could have the privilege of listening to a significant portion of the Bruce Springsteen corpus.)

Several families from our church have told me already that they are planning to attend the “West Texas PCA Joint Thanksgiving Service.” I recognize that it might be difficult or even impossible for some, but I do hope that if you are able, you’ll join us this Sunday evening in Lubbock.

The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch