Thank You

Good morning!

Last Sunday we began a 6 week series looking at what it is to be followers of Jesus and how our lives are shaped in that context. The series began with looking at stewardship and offering all that we have and all that we are in the creating of a better world. During the offering time I invited people to offer something more than money. Pieces of paper and pencils were provided and people were asked to write a note to someone in the congregation who they would like to thank, or offer words of encouragement to. These notes were placed on the plate and I would deliver them throughout the week. It was amazing on Monday morning to sit with these notes and organize them for delivery. I must admit that there were far more than I could deliver in a week so this process is ongoing . Although I imagined that these notes would bring a lift to the people receiving them what I hadn’t fully grasped was what this would mean for me. I have been given such a privilege this week as I sat with several people and delivered their notes. The conversations that ensued, the feelings of appreciation and gratitude that were shared highlighted for me what impact a little act of kindness can do.

In his book “ Fishing Tips” Rev. Dr John Pentland writes “ Generosity and gratitude, both, are about how we use our time, talent and treasures. It is about how the outpouring of those spiritual gifts can reach, touch and transform the world, transforming us in the meantime.”

A simple thing like saying thank you is a wonderful gift that can do so much more than most of us realize. As I reflect on this I am aware of how little we actually use those words especially in family or in our faith family. Perhaps this is because we are so comfortable with each other that we take our relationship for granted and think that the other knows intuitively that we are grateful. While this might, on one level, be true there is also the reality that we all like to know that we are appreciated. A simple thank you can brighten the day and fill the soul.

I did not write a note myself on Sunday so this morning I would like to say thank you:

– To all of you who are my brothers and sisters in faith, and in particular, a part of the family of First United Church. When I think about the breadth and depth of love and compassion that exists in this place I am inspired and empowered. The gifts that are offered here to bring light into the world are more like a flood light that illumines all it touches. The dedication, commitment and passion that radiates here brings alive the ministry sand mission of Jesus in tangible and concrete ways. Then there is the support, encouragement, companionship, love and so much more that you offer to me and that has enabled me to grow in ways that I could never have imagined.
– To my four sisters, who I really do take so much for granted , thank you doesn’t really cover it but I say it none the less. You are the pillars upon which I stand and whose support makes it possible for me to be who I am. You are also the net that catches me when I fall and I know, because of that, that I can try anything . You are the laughter that fills my days and the hands that wipe away my tears. You are my inspiration and my joy.
– To my partner in ministry, Chris Bowman, thank you for joining me on this crazy ride; for being open and honest; for sharing your gifts of insight, wonder and joy. Our partnership in ministry and music has filled my soul and allowed me to soar.

There are many others who I could add to this list but I will stop for now. I invite you to take a moment today to say thank you to someone .

Blessings
Valerie

Reminders of the Week:

Sunday 1030am – Bringing Good News of Hope and Joy

Sunday following worship – Come for Lunch in the Church Hall!!! All you need to bring is yourself and an open heart and mind!!! We will have our first look at the book “ Fishing Tips”. You may not be finished reading but that is okay!! Perhaps you did not get the book or for whatever reason are unable to read it, that is okay too!! Come, join in the conversation and the journey as we discover who we are and what the next step in ministry looks like for us. This is the first of many gatherings over the months ahead!

Annual Reports are Now Due!!!! If you are chair of a group or committee the time for reports has arrived. Please have in to Tracy ASAP. ( like yesterday!)

Rendezvous 2017! In August of this year 10 or so youth are hoping to join youth and young adults from across the country for a gathering of faith, fun and fellowship in Montreal. This is an amazing opportunity and there is much excitement among our youth for this trip. You can Help! If you are able to donate a small or large amount it would be greatly appreciated!! There are envelopes available at the back of the church or simply drop into the church office and make a donation.

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