Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

~ Habbakuk 3:17-18

November 4, 2014

Dear Members & Friends of Indo-Pak United Methodist Church,

I wish you all a Happy Thanks
I hope and pray this season provides an opportunity for you to enjoy one of the most cherished meals of the year with your family and friends. May you also have occasion to share stories of God’s goodness with each other in a spirit of thankfulness and sharing.

The Scriptures tell us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything, give thanks.” At the time it was written, both Paul, the author of the letter, and the Thessalonians who received it, were not doing well. They were a small minority, routinely experiencing persecution, imprisonment and isolation. Yet, in the face of such hardship, they were encouraged to be thankful. Paul and Silas were found praying and praising God after being falsely accused, beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16:25.) Possessing an attitude of gratitude like this is witness to our relationship with Christ and His presence with us.

Now, of course, our circumstances in this country are hardly similar to those of the early Christians or many others around the world who are currently living in very hostile environments. As we notice so much pain, suffering and violence in the world, it is difficult to ignore the fact that we are indeed blessed in ways we do not even realize. We fail to acknowledge this reality because we get too caught up with the media and others who are in the business of criticism and negativity. We are constantly bombarded with subtle and not so subtle messages that we need and deserve more, and that the government and others should do more for us. If we’d only pause to reflect and count our physical and spiritual blessings, gratitude would be our natural response.

The attitude of gratitude can be nurtured and expressed by focusing our attention on others in our midst who are not as fortunate and not by complaining about what you do not have. I am so happy to remind you that many of our members are always ready to step up and generously help others. As you all know that our members gave $2000 for suffering and displaced Christians from Iraq during Anniversary celebrations. You also gave $1500 in Thanksgiving offerings that was used to help members in our own community during the past twelve months. I mention this to commend and encourage you because I know that these generous and faithful people

West Ridge Church is welcoming 25 African refugees on November 15th with dinner and gift of winter coats. They were displaced from their home land and have recently moved into our neighborhood. I have promised that Indo-Pak members purchase new gloves, hats, scarps and other winter gear for them to help our refugees neighbors prepare for the harsh winter in Chicago. I invite you to make a donation for this worthy cause.

If your family does not have any plan for Thanksgiving Day, my wife and I invite you join us in our home on November 27th at six pm for worship and dinner. Please let us know if you plan to come so we can plan accordingly.

Enclosed please find an envelope for your Thanksgiving offering as well as pledge form for 2015. Prayerfully complete and mail them to the church or bring it with you when you come to worship with us.

Sincerely in Christ,

Rev. Ernest C. Singh

Indian Church, Pakistani Church, South Asian Church, Chicago, Illinois, hindi, urdu

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