Wesley Word-Nov. 3, 2021

Sonia Baker   -  

To go along with service on: Sunday, November 7, 2021 

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth

All Saints’ Sunday: Cloud of Witnesses
Hebrews 12:1-3

This Sunday we will celebrate All Saints Sunday, the Sunday after All Saints Day, November 1st. In the Roman Catholic Church, the title “saint” is reserved for those who have been officially recognized by the Vatican as being particularly holy and worthy of reverence. Originally, each saint had a day to remember them, some of which are still with us like Saint Patrick’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day. After a while, there began to be more saints than days in the year, so November 1st was chosen as the day to celebrate all the saints who did not have their own day. The following day, November 2nd was set aside to remember those who had died who were not saints, it was called All Souls Day. All Saints Day was also known as All Hallows Day, hallow meaning holy, and the evening before All Hallows Day was called All Hallows Eve, or as we now know it, Halloween. Halloween is actually a Christian holiday, or at least it used to be.

As Protestants, we do not have an official practice of sainthood for particular people. Instead, we see all of God’s people as saints. All those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior are saints. You are a saint and so am I. In the Protestant churches, we have combined All Saints Day and All Souls Day, moved it to the following Sunday, and now use it to remember and celebrate the lives of all the faithful, the saints, who have gone before us.

 Our Bible reading from Hebrews calls the saints in heaven “A Great Cloud of Witnesses.” The image we should get from this is the saints, from the Apostle Paul to Aunt Gertrude, the Sunday School teacher, sitting in the bleachers of heaven looking down on us who are still running the race of faith and cheering us on. If we listen closely, maybe we can hear them! 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Who are the “saints,” on earth or in heaven, who have made an impact on your faith?

Expressing Love Family/Mission Activity

Here is a fun video that can help explain All Saints Day (which we will celebrate on Sunday). After watching the video, you may choose to talk about family or friends who have passed this year and remember the great things about them. I encourage you to ask your family what they hope others will remember about them as they work to be an “example of faith” as was discussed in the video. 

Announcements: 

  • WOW (Worship on Wednesdays) TONIGHT! 
    • 5:30-6:00 catered meal-chicken & pizza from Pizza Ranch
    • 6:00 Mid-week worship
    • 6:30-7:30 Small groups for kids, youth, and adults
  • Lay Leaders Needed: We have opportunities available for anyone interested in serving on Trustees or the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Brian.
  • Here to There: A Renewed Expression of Methodism (Presented by the Iowa Wesleyan Covenant Association) – Sunday, November 7th, 3-5pm at Wesley UMC. This is an opportunity to receive information and ask questions about the current situation and possible future division of the United Methodist Church. All are welcome to join us but please be aware that the information presented here will be from the traditionalist perspective. We hope to be able to welcome presentations from other perspectives as they become available.