A Pandemic Thanksgiving--Are You Serious!

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Somewhere in the Bible, it is commanded, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

Does that include the pandemic that pins this planet and the United States down this Thanksgiving?

As far as I can tell, the command does not indicate an exclusion clause. Though let’s be quick to recognize this is not a command to “give thanks for all circumstances”— it is a command to “give thanks in all circumstances.”

After all, how could we possibly thank God for the disease that has taken away our loved ones (1.41 million deaths globally — 260,000 deaths across the United States as I write these lines)? No, the command is specific — “Give thanks in [not for] all circumstances.”

After all, how could we possibly thank God for the disease that has stripped away our personal economic security?

“A new Pew Research Center survey finds that, overall, one-in-four adults have had trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus outbreak started, a third have dipped into savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet, and about one-in-six have borrowed money from friends or family or gotten food from a food bank. As was the case earlier this year, these types of experiences continue to be more common among adults with lower incomes, those without a college degree and Black and Hispanic Americans.”*

The apostle Paul, himself no stranger to economic deprivation and intense personal suffering, is clear in his apostolic command: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18, NIV).

But really — we’re supposed to find a reason for thanksgiving in the midst of this COVID-19 onslaught — are you serious?

May I make a humble effort to suggest a small list of possible things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving? Perhaps your list will look quite different:

1. I am grateful for the technology that enables me to worship remotely with people I can’t see — somehow knowing, in a divine sort of way, we are connected to one another, though very much physically distanced.
2. I am also thankful for the people who put up with the bother of wearing a face mask when they’re around me — what an “I care about you” kind of gift!
3. I am grateful for the cell phone that lets me reach out to people I otherwise wouldn't have been able to reach during this pandemic. 
4. I realize more and more the simple truth embedded in that old saw, “I complained to God about having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
5. I am grateful for the lesson this pandemic is trying to teach me — that what matters most in life — more than professional success, more than economic comfort, more than even religious or theological correctness — what really matters most of all is relationships. I want to treasure the ones I have all the more, especially the one with God.
6. I am thankful that as a result of this pandemic, my wife, Karen, has become a first-class homemade bread specialist.
7. I am also grateful that my COVID-19 test a couple of weeks ago came back negative.
8. Perhaps there is more truth than poetry to an “attitude of gratitude.” Consider these three one-liners I found in the chapter “Mind Cure” in Ministry of Healing:

“Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise” (p. 251).

“When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven” (p. 253).

“This command [1 Thess. 5:18 — see above] is an assurance that even the things which appear to be against us will work for our good” (p. 255).

Did you catch that? What appears to be against us “will work for our good.” That’s what God did at the cross — took the enemy’s absolute worst and transformed it into salvation’s absolute best — as only Jesus can do.

Gratitude? Are you kidding? A blessed Thanksgiving, indeed!

--Article written by Dwight Nelson, the Senior pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church, Andrew University. Excerpt taken from Adventist Review magazine November 25, 2020. The original version of this commentary was posted on the New Perceptions television ministry blog, The Fourth Watch.

* Kim Parker, Rachel Minkin, and Jesse Bennett, “Economic Fallout From COVID-19 Continues to Hit Lower-Income Americans the Hardest,” Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends, September 24, 2020, www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/09/24/economic-fallout-from-covid-19-continues-to-hit-lower-income-americans-the-hardest/.

5: World Stewardship Day
4-5: Youth Congressoree-Speaker (Joint Youth Services)
5: Adventist Men Chorale Concert

6: CHAM Fun Day (Joint)
6 – 7: ATCU Session
6 – 7: Youth Choir Christmas Concert
11 – 12: 4th Quarter Youth Day (Local Church/District)
11 – 12: Winter Youth Retreats (Local Church/District)
12: Youth Emphasis Day/Meistersinger Annual Christmas Concert (p.m.)
13: Youth Banquets (Local Churches/District)
14: Health Emphasis Day/Choir Day
18: Office Closes for the Holiday
19: Christmas Sabbath
19: Music Day (Local Churches, a.m.)

25: Festival of Carols (Joint, p.m.)
31: Year End Service

Festival of Youth 2020
Will be held virtually, on December 4-5, 2020. Friday at 7:00p.m

Sabbath at 9:00a.m & 4:00p.m
YouTube- @passiton242
Meeting ID: 966 5728 0441
Passcode: 330295

--Pastor Jamal Franklyn, Youth Director


CHAM Fun Day & Announcement of Results of ‘Kids Talents for Jesus’ Competition
December 6, 2020 @12:00p.m – 2:00p.m -
Via Zoom: Meeting ID: 978 7116 6067
                   Passcode: 045483

Activities are planned forchildren and teens:
7 years old & down
8 years old & up

Parents are asked upon entrance in the Zoom meeting to rename your child’s tag accordingly.
Eg. 7 - John Pinder (the ‘7’ will indicate that the child is 7 years old or under) OR8 – Mary Burrows (the ‘8’ to indicate the child is 8 years old or above).
This will assist us to move to the activities in a timely fashion.
Thank you, parents!

–Mrs. Lavern A. Sturrup, Children & Adolescent Ministries Director

Testing of new Marsis Playbox for TV Channel
Due to the testing of our new playbox for our channel, ATV658, we will not broadcast our local programming this weekend. Please note that this week’s local television programming can be viewed on the Conference’s Website, Facebook and Youtube channel. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

--Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Communication Director 

Health Panel Discussion
You are all invited to a Health Panel Discussion captioned, 'The Whole You' on December 5 at 4:00p.m. A panel of health professionals will be available to answer any health questions/concerns you may have.
Meeting ID: 996-8077-3311
Passcode: 681760

–Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Ministries Director

Bible Class continues Sunday @ 6:30 via Zoom and YouTube.

--Pastor Lynden Williams, Spirit of Prophecy Coordinator


Upcoming Events
December 20 - Cooking Class (Hillview)

Thanks, from Women’s Ministries
On behalf of the Women’s Ministries Department of the South Bahamas Conference, I wish to take this opportunity to say a sincere thank you to the Administration, Women’s Ministries Leaders in New Providence and Family Islands, my Council Members, GEMS and their Mentors as well as the many faithful women who supported and provided encouragement during this year.

I am humbled to lead the women here in The South Bahamas Conference and while COVID-19 may have restrained some of our plans, by God’s grace, we press on and will finish strong.

Stay poised and ready, as we continued to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to Shine for Christ in 2021.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions or need additional information on any of our initiatives, kindly email us at SBCwomensministries@sbcadventist.org.bs

Upcoming Events
Apple Strudel Tutorial

Sunday, December 13, 2020 10:45 a.m.
We Care, so we will share. Bake two and give one away as a Random Act of Kindness- “God in Shoes” Initiative. Zoom ID :97369554488
Passcode: strudel

Christmas Food Box Delivery
December 19-24, 2020.

Women’s Devotional Submissions
Deadline June 2021.

Yuletide Greetings from Women’s Ministries 
As we approach another yuletide season, amid all the hustle and bustle, bells and whistles, the focus for the world is giving and receiving. However, as children of God, let us primarily focus on the Christ-child, the most important gift we could ever receive, as found in John 3:16.

There is a quote that says, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving”. This God-given love will prompt us to give of our time, abilities, resources and of ourselves. Giving is how we show our love, which is sometimes the greatest gift of all.

May the spirit of God’s peace and presence be ours as we celebrate His birth; the only gift that will last for eternity!

On behalf of the Women’s Ministries Department, I wish you all Happy Holidays and an even more spirit-filled New Year!

Pause and Pray Wednesday
Don’t forget our weekly Pause and Pray appointment on Wednesdays at noon.

Donation Request: Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals
Kindly donate to your local Women’s Ministries Leader for distribution during our community outreach projects this year. -Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director.

Please Email Weekly Announcements
To: sbclogos@gmail.com
Or logos@sbcadventist.org.bs
By Tuesday at 3:00p.m.

CALL 341-4021
December 11, 2020 - 5:21 p.m.

Happy Sabbath!