I have multiple friends (which in and of itself is a blessing) who daily journal their gratitudes. Each evening, as they reflect upon their day, they list three or four or five things for which they are grateful. I’m writing on Sunday evening, September 20, and reflecting on today’s events. Allow me to share three gratitudes with you…
1) I am grateful for a church congregation that values all people and the gifts they bring to the world. Darby Wilcox shared her music, her story, and her thoughts with us this past Sunday morning. She is one in a long list of guest musicians and artists who have graced our Sanctuary. Their wisdom is not always traditional, and their message is often couched in a language or style that is not typical of mainline worship and orthodoxy, but we value their voice and their essence. These moments have enriched both us and the artist. It has kept us uniquely connected to the world outside our walls.
2) I am grateful for a church that practices generosity. Thank you—from my heart and from the heart of United Ministries—for all the fruit you donated on Sunday and the days surrounding. We broke our record for the annual ‘Jim’s Birthday Fruit Gathering!’ The cans haven’t been counted yet, but the truck bed was full, and the United Ministries representatives were smiling. Best of all, those who need these resources will be fed. In the larger arena of giving, your faithfulness through the Summer allowed us to fully fund all ministries and missions of our church. Generosity is a lifestyle—a faith expression—and it is one our congregation practices well.
3) I am grateful for a church that is patient, receptive and relaxed. We gathered this evening at the Greenville Drive Stadium—Fluor Field—for a worship service infused with children, jazz music, and rolling down a grassy hill. This follows a Sunday at the Peace Center and months of Sundays online. We are doing our best to slowly and intentionally find ways to gather that are as safe as possible and as inclusive as possible. We have prayerfully worked to shape these gatherings in creative and meaningful ways. We’ve had our glitches and inconveniences, but you have truly been patient, receptive and relaxed. I hope you’ve been nourished as well.
So…after a long, wonderful day with church family…I just want to say, ‘Thank you.’

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