Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Earlier in October, we heard the story of the healed Leper that was so grateful. I have been thinking about this text over the past couple of weeks. What am I grateful for? What am I thankful for? What are you thankful for? That question seems appropriate for this time of year, doesn’t it? After all we are in the month of November, which for many is synonymous with being grateful and thankful. No doubt you are thankful for many things. I hope that you are able to name them, claim them and, when possible, let others know for what you are thankful.
Something that went around social media last year was a challenge to name three things a day for seven days that you are thankful for. I probably won’t name 21 things now, but I do want to share a few things I have been thankful for in the past few weeks.
1) I’m thankful for a dedicated group of folks that at any other congregation would be paid staff. They are the people who make sure the church is clean, everything is set up, bulletins are printed, the sanctuary is prepared (and the list goes on) at ASLC. These people work well together and are willing to help out, often before they are asked, and have taken on many different tasks whenever they arise.
2) I’m thankful for our council that continues to be a dedicated group who prayerfully continues to be mindful of this congregation and its resources in all decisions they make.
3) I’m thankful for all the volunteers; ASLC could not function the way that it does without volunteers. I stopped to think about all the volunteers we have, and I began to lose count because there are so many different hands doing great work in this place.
4) I’m thankful for the opportunities that ASLC offers to its members and the things we have done to reach out into the community. I’m thankful that we are willing and able to open up our building to the various groups that have and continue to use ASLC. With outside groups, movie night, the craft fair, spaghetti dinner, yard sale and more, I calculated that we see an average of 75 – 100 people (non-members) that come through our building each month for something other than worship.
5) I’m thankful for this congregation that seeks to reach beyond our walls to bring Christ to those outside of our beautiful building. What a gift this is in places like Abraham Connection and those who work tirelessly on behalf of ASLC to bring a warm welcoming smile and a hot meal to those who are in need.
6) I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with our young people and for their constant desire to learn. I continue to be impressed with the questions they ask and the understanding they have of the world around them.
7) I’m thankful for the kindness and grace that is constantly shown to Jesse and me by the people of All Saints. On a regular basis all of you remind me why I chose to accept the call to ASLC and you make me grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit guiding us together.
That is only the beginning of the things I am thankful for. I am most thankful to God for your presence in God’s church and the community we call ASLC. We are blessed to be a blessing to those around us. Let us never take for granted all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives. What are you thankful for? May you have a blessed November and remember to give thanks.
In the peace of Christ,
Pr. Paul <><
p.s. Did you know? This year is the 50th Anniversary of the ordination of Women in the ELCA. What a wonderful gift this has been to the church.
p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ??? I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, I still possess.