Greetings and blessings to all. Well folks, I’ve been recruited to come on board with Tad, Lisa, and Kathy to bring you the latest news from Art. They are hard acts to follow, but I’ll give it a shot!While driving through Art, one can’t help but notice the beautiful new rock wall and entrance gate to the Kothmann Family Cemetery on Hwy 29. The rocks came from surrounding ranches and the work was done by Kothmann families and friends. If you haven’t seen the new entrance yet, do drive by and check it out! It’s beautiful! There were a few scattered showers reported around the area last week and a chance for some more this week. We will take any rain we can get and give thanks to God from whom all blessings (especially raindrops) flow. Please continue to pray for rain.The Art United Methodist Women held their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8th. November is “World Thank Offering Month” which was the topic of our meeting. These special offerings go to support the work of United Methodist Women throughout the world. The focus this year is on Haiti. Maribelle Hoerster gave a very informational and moving program about two Haitian women and their life dedication to God, children and their country. Prayers were offered for the people of Haiti, their leaders, and for the American missionaries and churches that offer their time and resources so families there can receive clean water, food, basic health care and education. What a pleasure to have Jo Ann Coston and Shirley Davis from Trinity UMC visit with us. The Art and Trinity UMW will hold joint meetings starting January 2012. Our gracious hostess, Monica Cotter delighted us with wonderful refreshments. We invite all women to come learn and grow with us in love and service to God.The Revelation Bible Study will continue after the holidays. Tyra Jordan reminded us that our first Christmas Program practice will be Wednesday, Nov. 16th at 6pm. Come one come all, it’s not too late to join us. Joyce Mutschink will be taking donations through next Sunday to help with the First United Methodist Church turkey drive. These turkeys will go to less fortunate families in our area. Please mark your check, “Thanksgiving Turkey”. A big “Thank You” goes to Joyce for providing the beautiful altar flowers. Susie Jordan announced that we will have our “Hanging of the Greens” next Sunday at 9:30am. There’s always excitement and anticipation in the air when we get ready for the Christmas season. Our prayer requests continue for Kathy Jordan’s mom, Deloris Wilson, for Hunter and Demetra Wenzel’s twins, Payton Martinez, Destiny Franklin, Charlie Morris, John Ceynowa, and Mike Woods. We were happy to hear Jean Lyon is healing well and we will continue our prayers for her full recovery. Our prayers continue for Marge Boyd and we are looking forward to having her and Don back with us soon. We are all so blessed to live in this free country! There was and still is a heavy price being paid for our freedom. Please continue to pray for our service men and women, Amanda Adams, Matt Krause, Kyle Pierce, Stuart Jordan, Josh Calhoun, and Taylor Slocum.Remember also to pray for our loved ones that are homebound and in nursing homes, Anna Grace Durst, Dick Pierson, Etta Marie Mutschink, Pearl Leifeste, Johnita Bohmfalk, and Deloris Wilson. They all miss being in church with us and a card or phone call would sure brighten up their day.Pastor Cliff thanked all that baked cookies and prayed for the Kairos Prison Ministry. They distributed almost 5,600 dozen cookies. He said each cookie was a seed of hope. Of the 42 men visited, the vast majority made a commitment to change, to repent, and to turn to Christ. God does not give up on these men. We are asked to pray not only for their healing, but also for their families, so that they will see a real change in them through the power of God’s love and grace.The Gospel reading was from Matthew 25: 14-30. Pastor Cliff explained how Jesus tells us how to live NOW, and obey the Word of God, through the Parable of the Talents. Judgment is described in the parable and Jesus said we must repent, hear the word of God and obey it. We don’t know when Jesus will return, only God knows. In Verse 15, we are told of a Master giving his goods (talents) to three of his servants and then He went away…..That is the ascension of Jesus. In Verse 19, after a “long time” the Master returns to settle their accounts…..That is when Jesus returns, the 2nd coming of Christ. So, what goods, (talents) did Jesus give us? Our greatest gift from God is His grace. We are saved and have been made “right” in God’s eyes. We have been given the love of Jesus Christ. So, why does the Parable of the Talents matter? If we are saved, why do we “need” to do anything? It matters because it is about what God has done for us. We are made right with God through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. How will we be stewards of the gifts given to us? The servant that received one talent responded with fear. He buried it and didn’t share it. He kept it all to himself. Don’t limit God’s grace. Our God is a great and giving God. He has poured out His Holy Spirit on all of us. Who do we know that needs to hear this Good News? We could be like the servant that responded to fear by keeping it all for himself, or we could be like the servant that shared and was later told by Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant”….it’s up to us. What will we do with God’s gifts? Peace and love to all.