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Dear Friends in Christ,

Have you ever just said “I’m fine” when you weren’t, just because you think others might not understand? It happens more than we might think.

This is a difficult time of year for a lot of people. As the weather gets colder, it becomes more difficult and less convenient for people to get out and about. It is more difficult to visit friends, neighbors, and loved ones. And, November brings us Thanksgiving and the beginning of the “holiday season.” Joyous and heart-warming for some, stressful and depressing for others.

And then there are those who try to do everything. Things like planning the perfect holiday din- ner, traveling to visit family, saying yes to every event, meeting year-end deadlines and the fi- nancial effects of holiday shopping, can be enough to send anyone into a downward spiral.

A survey from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) found that “respondents reported that the holidays contribute to feelings of sadness and dissatisfaction. 68% of survey participants felt financially strained, 66% experienced loneliness, 63% felt an overwhelmingly sense of pres- sure, 55% found themselves remembering happier times in the past contrasting with the present, while 50% were unable to be with loved ones.”

Remember that we are a community. We are a church family. If you are feeling lonely, chances are, others are too. If you need time to just breathe, then by all means, do it. Let’s all take time to connect with one another. Invite your neighbor over for a visit. They might even bring freshly baked treats, offer to take a drive, play cards, or just listen.

I leave you with one final thought, dear friends from John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

Here are some tips for how to handle the autumn blues. https://bit.ly/TheAutumnBlues

Blessings!

Pr. Jane

Read more from the November Newsletter and previous newsletters. Also visit the Calendar page to know more about Faith Lutheran Church in Columbus, Wisconsin.