Give Thanks!

Dear People of Grace,

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way…”
1 Corinthians 1:4-5  

How I give thanks for you!  I thank God for your strong witness in this neighborhood. You are utterly and totally committed to shouting from the rooftops that God loves EVERYBODY!  I thank God for the gifts you have been giving in telling this story -your welcoming hearts, your strong words,  your practice in caring for and disagreeing with each other, your commitment to living out this welcome in food and time as well as in words. 

I thank God for a solid, beautiful building to worship in, for money to pay the electric bills, for people to manage the finances and the property.  I thank God for voices to sing, and members to serve on council giving leadership, and gadflies to ask us hard questions and organizers of service events and people to throw parties! 

I thank God for Montrose Grace Place, (soon to celebrate its second birthday!) and for the way we have been able to eat with and listen to the homeless youth of Montrose, and the way that has helped us witness to the neighborhood and formed an amazing community of volunteers.
We aren’t perfect- I know it, you know it. Sometimes I mess up and you all push me to do better, and sometimes I challenge you and hope you’ll grow even more.  Sometimes we see each other doing things that we wish would be done a little differently.  But none of that stops us from giving thanks for what we have and do.

Giving thanks helps us appreciate and love what we have.  So I’m going to invite you to make a list of the things that you’re thankful for, in your life, but especially about this church.  What do you love?  And then a bigger challenge- I invite you to thank someone out loud for that thing you love.  I’m especially going to invite you to do this at least once for every time you complain about something that you’d like to see done better.  Glad there’s coffee here on Sunday when you come in?  Find out who made it and thank them!  Grateful to be able to sit and worship without interruption?  Thank an usher or a reader or someone else who helped make the service happen so that you could enjoy it.  Glad our congregation collects food every Sunday?  Find out who brings it to Christian Community Service Center and thank them! 

Every single thing that happens here at this church happens because somebody makes it happen.  Volunteers-you- power this place.  Without committed people, this church would be nothing.  Even the things that we pay staff to do, are done because everyone adds their money together in the offering to be able to make it happen.  I am profoundly grateful for the work that makes this church what it is.  THANK YOU.  And thank each other. 

But above all, give thanks to God who has given us good gifts, who has given us more than we will ever need to carry out our mission, who has given us each other.  We are full.  We have more than enough.  We have so much beauty and love and talent and possibility and dedication- more than we need!  Thank God!  Thank you God!  Thank you God for the good gift of Grace Lutheran.
-Pastor Lura