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Dear Congregational Family,

1. Veterans Day: Yesterday was the official day to celebrate our veterans this year; although, Sunday was the actual day itself. This year marked the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI. It was a war that consumed over 8.5 million military casualties. The war officially ended with an “armistice” on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. An “armistice” simply meant “a cessation of hostilities” in that the opposing forces have agreed to stop fighting, but that no surrender (or victory) actually takes place. However, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles made clear that the Allied Forces were victorious over Germany. Even though the war ended, in many ways, hostilities did not cease, as the bitterness and brokenness raged on in Europe and were evidenced in the especially harsh and vindictive punishments toward Germany in the Treaty.

How different is the Good News of Jesus who defeated sin, death and the devil; and then in love established eternal peace, as He made us who were His hostile enemies, into His holy family as He,

“reconciled all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; … and although we were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” – Colossians 1:20-22

2. Church Council: Last night was another excellent council meeting. The agenda was very full, and the meeting was very productive. I am so thankful for a church council that enjoys working together, genuinely desires to understand each other’s point (even when disagreeing), and where members linger after the meeting simply because they enjoy the fellowship with one another. Please pray for your council members, and also thank them for their service to us as a congregation!

3. New Members: This Sunday we will be receiving a wonderful group of new members! It has been a joy to be teaching this class and to witness their enthusiasm for Christ and the Church! It has been a good reminder to me of how much we take for granted here at Ruthfred, and how much we have to be thankful for in our church! Please welcome these new members warmly and have your own love for our church rekindled!

4. Congregational Meeting: This Sunday, we will be having our annual Fall Congregational Meeting which follows both services for the purpose of approving the 2019 Church Budget. God has immensely blessed our congregation this past year, and we come into this Thanksgiving Season with grateful hearts! We also look forward to how God is challenging each of our members to continue and to even grow in the spiritual discipline of stewardship of Time/Talents/Treasures.

Praise God for His wonderful work in our midst!

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God.”

Pastor Carlson

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