Greetings, Good People of GSL!  The connections and ways this faith community has and is continuing to explore meaningful relationships and resilience is a beautiful thing to witness.

Advent Wreaths to grace homes during this time of Advent will be wonderfully made Advent I, November 29 in a socially distanced, festive way.  Please sign up if you have not already.  There are two shifts of these workshops: 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Space is filling up so reserve your household’s space if you are interested. Information is on our website: www.gracestlukes.org/events/advent-wreath-making. 

Walking groups began earlier this month and are getting folks out moving and grooving.  It is a wonderful thing to have partners to keep us motivated as well as good conversation shared.  

Yoga begins the beginning of December.  The wonderful Shantih Smythe will be leading these Tuesday online classes, and we hope soon that we will be able to offer them in person.  These weekly times are open to the whole community and are beautiful ways to stretch your way into better health, body and soul!  

Also, keep your eyes out for some fire pit parties as the Congregational Development team explores leaping into the Light of Epiphany with these small group gatherings. 

The Social Justice Committee and its growing team is meeting every three weeks.  Energy and visioning with this ministry focusing on justice and equity is palpable.  I see it through meetings, vision making, conversations about community and engagement, and the thoughtful formation series generated—did you see the conversation between Paula Barnes and Emily Yellin on race and gender and Tim Huebner on community journeys engaging in racial healing?  Check them out on our website: www.gracestlukes.org/sunday-morning.

Next, in these months we are in and moving forward, GSL is deepening its partnership with MICAH, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope.  This Social Justice partnership joins us at GSL with other Memphis faith groups and non-profits so that we can be a more powerful voice for justice issues.  MICAH’s three main focus areas are: economic equity, education equity, and race/class equity in the justice system.  I’m pleased to share that Jim Drummond and Paula Barnes are GSL’s two delegates and Becky Mercer will serve as our alternate delegate.  They, along with me as clergy, are looking to gather a core team of GSLers who want to make authentic friendships and be a part of making “y’all means all” real.

SO, I am challenging and encouraging everyone at GSL to find community and connection with MICAH.  Retired, working, young, middle-aged, beautifully seasoned, all of us are needed as we intentionally go beyond our bricks and mortar to see our wider neighborhood and neighbors.  Why do this?  Because, we pop our metaphorical bubble and see how connected we are to the community, how much we need each other, and how much important work there is to do.  Our baptismal covenant and our particular faith community context make this moment our moment to be sure.  For questions or to know more, please contact Jim or Paula. You can reach them through Realm Connect at www.gracestlukes.org/realm.

It is an honor and privilege to share the journey of engagement and community connection with you.

Laura+

The Rev. Laura F. Gettys, Associate Rector
901-252-6329 | lgettys [at] gracestlukes [dot] org

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