I hope you’re coming to our big Ingathering Celebration on Sunday, and remember that our schedule is a little different. We’ll share a breakfast at 9:00 a.m. graciously hosted by the Daughters of the King. Then we’ll worship in single, combined service at 10:00 a.m., and wrap up the morning with an all-parish outreach effort.

Please bring your puzzle piece to church on Sunday, if you haven’t put it in place already (#pieceofchrist). Our puzzle is starting to come together, but it is still a work in progress. Your piece is located a pocket at the front of your stewardship brochure, which you either picked up on October 3, or received in the mail that week. Your puzzle piece is a one-of-a-kind. It is part of our huge, custom puzzle, which won’t be fully complete unless all the pieces are fitted together. Your piece matters that much to our puzzle, because you matter that much to our church. This weekend is a great time to bring it in, along with your pledge of financial support, and show your membership in our body. (If you somehow misplaced your puzzle piece, contact Meghan Mazur to request an identical “backup piece.”)

At the service, much as we’ve done the last two years, everyone will have a chance to process to the Altar and present your pledge of support. If you already turned in your Pledge Certificate, we’ll have it on the Altar for you. If you haven’t turned it in yet, bring it to church on Sunday and walk it up yourself. In addition to presenting the pledges, everyone will be given yet another puzzle piece, this one cut from a small replica of our giant puzzle. We have enough pieces of this smaller puzzle for everyone to carry one up and set it on the Altar. Symbols have power, and this presentation symbolizes how we are each offering our piece to the puzzle of our church, and our gift for the sake of God’s Kingdom. We are many members, but we are fit together into Christ’s one body.

After the service, the Outreach Committee has organized three different projects for our one body to perform, three ways we can work together to make a big impact. You can choose between helping cut denim forms for an organization called Sole Hope, which makes inexpensive shoes from old blue jeans; make soup packets in an assembly line for North Dallas Shared Ministries; or create hygiene kits for members of The Gathering, a church of homeless women and men in downtown Dallas. Imagine how much good our whole church can do when we work together for even one hour!

In my sermon on Sunday, I will talk about the temptation to think we’re not important or necessary. Paul writes about this in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 12:14-18), and he’s so right. It’s easy to think that we aren’t needed, that we’re an eye and everyone else is ears and hands. We live in a cynical age, and that cynicism extends to the church and our faith, too, if we’re not careful. But Christ fits us all together into his body, and every single member is needed if we are to be what we’ve been created to be. So come on Sunday, and offer your piece of Christ so that together we can become his one body.

See you this weekend.