Lead Pastor Michael J. Paris

 

A child of God, Husband of Sue, Father, Grandfather, Pastor and friend.  Pastor Mike longs to lead men and women to live like they are God’s most treasured possession and grow in their faith all for the Glory of Him who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

 

Hey Church –
     I know you already know this, but thanksgiving is a “spiritual activity” not a “cultural holiday”. There are so many things to
thank God for. We are indeed a blessed people, lavished lovingly with His grace (Eph 1:6-8). We lack nothing, we are at rest,
and our cup overflows (Ps 23:1, 5). Let us not forget to say thanks to Him! I am truly quite thankful for many things – here
are some.

     1. My wife. (No, she did not pay me to put her at the top of the list.) 30 years of marriage to one woman has been
great – but it hasn’t just happened. We have been forced to grow and change together. This is an ongoing project
with amazing rewards.
     2. Our kids. Each one doing their own unique thing (a pastor, a teacher, a therapist and an engineer), all striving to be
Christ-like. I know that these children, by God’s continued grace, will do even greater things for God.
     3. Our “new” church family. While we have been here for two years already, I feel like we are still getting to know
many of you. COVID has not helped us here! Your receptivity to God’s Word and your desire to reach Attica for
Christ are great gifts to me. I love the relational partnerships that are blooming inside and outside the walls.
     4. Good health. This virus stuff has made health a more valuable commodity. We have become more and more alert to
the fragile nature of life. We have considered whether we should risk certain interactions and are making conscious
choices about our trips out and about.
     5. Great writers. I have a library full of books– many of them are excellent and have shaped my spiritual life. I am just
finishing one by CS Lewis (an audio-book!) that has made me think about our faith. I value and am thankful for people
with a better grasp on a subject than I have who make me stretch and wrestle and develop.
     6. Technology. Because of this season, we have been separated, isolated and distanced to our own detriment. But we
have so many more tools to connect and teach than we ever had before. The thought of writing all of this letter
longhand, in cursive with a pen and ink makes me cry inside. To be honest, I probably am more thankful for
creativity to use technology than for the tool.
     7. Sister churches. I am grateful for a camaraderie and genuine fellowship between the evangelical churches of our area
and across the state. We don’t have to do everything like they do. We can just be for each other and for the gospel!
We all have unique places and specific congregations that are trying to honor God. I am grateful for the non-
competitive spirit among these brothers and sisters in Christ.
     8. Music. Like technology, this one is a funny one to add to the list. But especially in isolated times, those of us who
struggle with melancholy can really use music to our spiritual benefit. The music night last Sunday was a great
encouragement even if it was a bit risky! We also have the radio, the internet, CDs (some might have cassette tapes
still!), and hymnals. See? We are blessed!

     I didn’t list coffee, grand-kids, a wood-shop, a ministry “job”, my seminary training, disc golf or my salvation. It is not that I am not thankful for them. It is that I have run out of page. I would love to hear about the things that go on your list. Let us turn
our hearts toward heaven in praise and worship. May you have a rich time of gratefulness with your (healthiest) friends and
family tomorrow!

Enter His courts with praise and make some joyful noise!
 
Blessings, Pastor Mike @ pastormike33@yahoo.com, 607.220.9911, 38 Genesee St, Attica NY 14011