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November 4 – World Service Fund (Focus on All Saints' Day)


"Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,…who keeps faith forever." —Psalm 146:5-6, NRSV

When the Rev. Tweedy Navarrete Sombrero remembers saints, she recalls her friend and mentor, the Rev. Homer Ray Noley, who died earlier this year.

"When I first met Homer," she said, "he was working in New York City. Later, he was at Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, where he assisted a lot of Native students. When I was in Shiprock, New Mexico, Homer came to visit me and offered me a job working at Saint Paul School of Theology. Later, the program he started went to Claremont School of Theology, and he was encouraging Native students to get their degrees.

"Homer was truly an advocate for Native people in the church. Throughout his whole life, Homer pushed Native people to tell their story and to be there for one another." A member of the Choctaw Nation, Noley founded the National United Methodist Native American Center.

"Homer was our historian," Sombrero continued. "In his last days, he was still encouraging my friend Anna Marshall and me to keep telling the Native stories and to continue to work for justice."

In her tribute, Sombrero said, "Thank you, Homer, for your lifetime work. I thank God you touched my life and walked with me on the path. You were awesome, valued and loved."

On All Saints' Day, we honor people like Homer Noley, who shared his faith and encouraged others every day and, in doing so, strengthened his beloved United Methodist Church.

Loving God, thank you for the saints who nurture us in our faith walk. Guide us so that we, too, might serve as loving examples for others. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide – God of love and uncountable blessings, we bring our gifts this day in the sight of our cloud of witnesses — the saints who have guided our lives and watch over our faithfulness from heaven's balcony. As we strive to live out their hope and faith in the promise of your kingdom, may we also rededicate ourselves to live so this world better reflects your kingdom and rule. In Christ, we pray. Amen.(Revelation 21:1-6a) — NOTE: This text is actually from the lectionary readings for Nov. 1, All Saints Day

The apostle Paul frequently referred to "the saints." In his letter to the church at Ephesus, he wrote, "I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers" (Ephesians 1:15-16, NRSV).

Think of the saints in your life. They may be active leaders or members of your church. Perhaps they are neighbors who reach out in love to your community. They may be a Sunday school teacher or a youth director who sees—and encourages—your potential as a leader. Or maybe they are several people who recognize a need—hungry children missing school lunches in the summertime, for example—and start a free meal program during vacation months.

Through your congregation's support of the World Service Fund, you equip 21st-century saints to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Thank you!

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