Thanksgiving Letter 2017
October 5, 2017
"Speaking to one another in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
giving thanks always for all things to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Dear friends in Christ,
This is the time of year when I am so thankful for all of the foresight, planning, preparation and hard work that my wife Joanne invested in our community garden plot some months ago. And I thank her and God for the harvest! There is nothing better than fresh, picked-today fruit and vegetables. Given the verse above, I perhaps should write a song of thanks and sing it to her. I sing my thanks to God often; less often to my wife.
I give thanks with a grateful heart. I am thankful to be a citizen in a country that pursues peace and where I can live in peace with my neighbours. I was recently in the home of some new friends who had to flee deadly violence in their home country of Iraq. We laughed, ate good food, shared stories and prayed. Their landlady joined us, who was a refugee from Poland following WW2 – and there were smiles and hugs all around. Gratitude and generosity marked the gathering.
I give thanks for this community of faith – St. Cuthbert Anglican Church. St. Cuthbert was a man of peace and devotion to God, resulting in generosity toward others. May we continue in that same ancient path as we engage the ministry and mission of his leader and ours, Jesus Christ.
Every week we worship God, and many times during the week – but it is on the principle feast days that we offer our tithes, offerings and over-and-above gifts to God. They are placed on the Lord’s Table along with the Bread and the Wine. “All things come of thee, O Lord; and of thine own have we given thee.” (perhaps consider this phrase in your prayer time…)
Gratitude and generosity are linked. The person who was relieved a large debt was no doubt thankful to be out from under the burden of it. But then she should have released the one who came to her pleading mercy, unable to pay a much smaller sum. May we cultivate an attitude of gratitude - and why not at Thanksgiving? And may that attitude result in generosity.
We are presently in a deficit position, and this should really not be the case. I never want this to become the accepted normal among us, believing that we will ‘scrape by’ at year’s end. I ask that you would take this opportunity at Thanksgiving to link your gratitude to God with your generosity toward God, expressed through a gift to St. Cuthbert Anglican Church.
Grace and peace be yours in Jesus Christ,
Pastor Paul Woehrle