It has been said that if the only prayer you utter in a day is a single “thank you”, then you have indeed prayed. While I can agree with this, I think there is something to taking a few moments to stop and sit and breath, while contemplating for all those things we might give thanks. Here is my list from this morning’s time of prayer and meditation:
• For my family, both biological and chosen. Adult children and little guys, for health and safety.
• For my work. All the work I do at Big Brother Big Sisters, being a foster parent and guardian and my time spent with the children and youth of South Church is inspirational and a privilege.
• For health and life itself. Some do not have the opportunity to grumble about work or pick up after the kids or grand kids. Their health has prevented them from being able to fully embrace life and this has saddened them. If I have the health to have a full life, it is a blessing to do so.
• For my church home. The opportunity to come to this lace every week, sometimes many times in a week, is a gift that can’t be quantified. Supportive relationships, warm colleagues, inspiring and challenging worship encourages me to live out my faith in the church building, the neighborhoods of Centerville, the nation and the world.
• For the challenges of the world. I know that being thankful for challenges seems confusing, but this is where people come together to think about how to be our best selves and when people of faith can join to share the Gospel, the Good News of life in Jesus, as St Francis once said, “using words if necessary”. Our lives reflect our faith and our outreach to the world reflects our serious desire to be “the hands and feet” of God. Without challenge we are more likely to remain self-focuses and insulated from the outside.
It is in this spirit of thankfulness that the children and youth of South Church continue to do their good work of faith formation and mission to the community. This month we will be collecting our UNICEF boxes and on-line donations from our church and sending this gift forward. UNICEF is actively involved in the care of Ebola patients in Western Africa right now and we offer our gifts toward that courageous work. We also continue to make our plan to bring needed items to A Baby Center, allowing our children and youth to see the reality of need on the Cape and to lessen that need, even in a small way. And as is the tradition, we will begin collecting items for the Salvation Army’s annual “Dress a Live Doll” campaign, sharing our love with children who might have a very meager holiday celebration without the community’s support.
As always, you are invited to come along with us as we learn more each week about the love of God expressed through Jesus and in the power of the Spirit. Join us in sharing your own story with our youth on a Sunday morning, help with a mission project, pray for us and perhaps most simply, give thanks for these children and youth, for their families and for this church that will nurture them as they grow into the future church.