Cool temperatures and rain – at last! Brent and I usually enjoy going to the local high school football games each Fall, but we’ve missed them this year – the hot weather took some of the allure out of the experience. But as they say about Texas weather – wait a few days and it will change – and what a change we’ve seen over the last few days! With our Stew Day and Holly Days Festival and Busy Beestro just around the corner, I can say I’m feeling the anticipation of the busy season ahead. Speaking of busy – the last week has been a whirlwind on my calendar – a pastor’s meeting in Winnsboro October 26, officiating a wedding in Kaufman October 28, our wonderful music Sunday on October 29 with our guest performer Anna and then a trip to Paris (Texas – maybe one day to France) to meet with the congregation of Central Presbyterian Church as they prepare for the retirement of their minister. Even in the midst of this chaotic schedule, I feel blessed to be so busy, and I realize that even with the challenges that our own congregation faces, we are very fortunate. 2023 seems to have come and gone so quickly. It has been a year of joy, loss and change – all of which are part and parcel of life. In antiquity, November was the time of the year in which people prepared to hunt and store game for food in the scarcity of winter. The word “November” is derived from the Latin word “Novem” which means “nine.” November was originally the 9th month of the year. In 750BC when January and February were added to the Roman calendar, November retained its name – sometimes it’s easier to leave some things alone. In the midst of change, we do like to cling to the familiar. Change is inevitable, and we can adapt and prepare just as those who came before us in ages past prepared for the harshness of winter each November. As we prepare for Thanksgiving and Advent, I share these words from the Apostle Paul. In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” and in his letter to the Philippians he writes, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." May God’s deep peace be with you all and thank you for all you do for the church, for each other and for me and Brent.