An Expression of Thanksgiving
posted on November 14
An Expression of Thanksgiving
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I suppose today’s title, An Expression of Thanksgiving, has a double meaning. First of all, I am writing to express my own thanks. Not only am I blessed to be doing this work every day, I am blessed to do it with YOU in the Northern Piedmont District. I’m twice blessed, and doubly grateful. We joke about our district being the “best” because we know it’s true. (Smile.) We utilize expressions such as “the Awesome Northern Piedmont District” and “the Northern Piedmont Way”, which is of course always an excellent way! While I am very thankful for the big things, such as serving some of the Conference’s most gifted clergy and congregations, I’m also thankful for so many other sweet gifts:
- Your childhood pictures in a digital frame in our office. (If you haven’t sent them yet, please do! We are adding daily!) It’s a rich reminder that we are all children of God.
- Our wonderfully supportive Superintendency Committee, under the leadership of Patricia Shoffner. We met on November 7 at Pleasant Union, and I so appreciate their time and support.
- Renee Hayes (Trinity Memorial) and Eloise Moore (Memorial: High Point) who will be consecrated Deaconesses at the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis.
- Our District Staff, who bring a combined 59 years of valuable WNCC ministry experience to us - Landa (33 years), Lynne (9 years), and Maria (17 years). They bring a wealth of expertise, and they are lifelong learners!
- The fruits of my District Pilgrimage - I have completed 11 of my 12 stops and have been engaged in community meals, mission trips, food packing events, faith-sharing, urban outreach, and conversations on race, food accessibility, and medical care.
- Hearing our Sister Cabinet in NCC express thanks for our great support of their coastal areas during these brutal hurricane seasons. They are truly grateful for our partnerships, and they are still welcoming groups weekly. For more information, see nccumc.org/disaster/updates.
- Our upcoming 2020 WNCC MLK Celebration, which will be held on Saturday, January 18 at St. Paul UMC in Winston-Salem. Clara Ester will be our speaker. Clara was a witness to history at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on the day of King’s assassination. She will bring a prophetic witness, and you will experience a part of our nation’s story. The event begins with registration at 9 am and worship at 10.
It feels so good to express gratitude, not just to have it but to communicate it, in prayer to God and in conversations with others. It’s one thing to be thankful, but it’s quite another to express thanks. If we take 1 Thessalonians 5:18 seriously, then giving thanks (in all circumstances) is “the will of God in Christ Jesus” for us. Thanks is truly something we give. To thank someone is to be generous with your words. Since this is a biblical mandate, let us ask ourselves two things this season: 1. Are we truly grateful for what we have? 2. Do we express our gratitude for those things, to God above and to each other here below?
I recall the blessing my father led us in at the dinner table: “For these and all thy many blessings, Lord, make us truly grateful.” May we be grateful for God’s graciousness to us, and may we graciously express our gratitude to others. Simply said - may our whole lives be an expression of thanksgiving. This is God’s will for us, at Thanksgiving and always.
Wishing you all the blessings of this season,