Those in attendance for this year's Emmaus Walk were Gavin Cox, Tony Moore, Alan England, Tony Bolodar, Bill Lang, Matt Gaston, Larry Naeyaert, Wade Anderson, Alan Johnson, and Clay Richmond.

Those in attendance for this year's Emmaus Walk were Gavin Cox, Tony Moore, Alan England, Tony Bolodar, Bill Lang, Matt Gaston, Larry Naeyaert, Wade Anderson, Alan Johnson, and Clay Richmond.

I am grateful for Nigel, Pastor Ed, and the Rev. Andy Lewis for filling the pulpit well as I work with a number of men from our church in retreat settings. Nine men from our church just returned from a faith-changing Emmaus Walk last weekend. On Oct. 19-21, another 20 or so of us will retreat to Camp Bridgeport (sign-up HERE). In both settings of nature, food, study, play, casual conversation, and worship, there emerges relaxed space for the Holy Spirit to speak to us in new and sometimes profound ways - ways that can change the trajectory of a life. There was value in the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness, of Elijah being in a cave, of Jesus calling his disciples to a "place apart" (Mark 6:31). We all need that renewal time. If we look, there are men who model and can guide us in that search for greater balance in our lives.

In the same way, we all can name women who have shaped and guided us in our growth and not just our mothers. I am looking for some of your stories about those women. Leading up to Thanksgiving, I will preach a series on Women of Hope. I’ll explore the biblical stories of Ruth, Hannah and Elizabeth. I would love to include your stories about women in your life who personify resourcefulness, determination and vision. Send your story of a woman who has impacted your life to me by clicking HERE. I will read and post every one of your stories (with your permission) and include some in these three sermons. ALL of us will have opportunity to name those special women in our lives as we lead up to Thanksgiving which often gathers some of them around a family table. Who is that special woman for YOU?

Grateful to God for the men and women in my life,

Matt

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