I couldn’t think of what to write about this month. Or, more accurately, I could think of lots of things to write about, but none that sounded new or profound or interesting or inspiring. That’s what the pastor’s newsletter column is supposed to be!
I thought maybe I would take a “prayer walk” around the church and just look at things and say a prayer of thanks for whatever those items make me think of. I started doing this mentally and soon realized that I would fill pages and pages and not get through.
Well, then…I will just start with my office and even here, it is touching just to look around the room intentionally considering various special items.
Right here in my office, I give thanks for…
- the friendship of a dear couple from my previous church who gave me that framed Bible verse … my “theme verse” from my ordination.
- the faith of my mother who liked that plaque that I took when all us kids were going through the house after they both died…the one depicting the last supper and the words, “for you and for many.”
- the opportunities and accomplishments I have been blessed to enjoy, represented by diplomas, plaques and certificates.
- my Baptism and First Communion, pictured and certified on my wall, and the large and faithful church family I grew up in.
- the beautiful, mature faith of two young women who went with me on a mission trip to Hurley, WV, when they were teenagers at my previous church, memorialized in a wall hanging the good people at the community center made for us.
- the faith-building experience and lifelong friendships forged at my home church in Fargo, where I received my call to ministry and which subsequently closed and gave me its communion ware, now on my shelf.
- the skill and faith of Bruce Holderbaum, who made my shelves.
- the wonderful faith-filled role models that were the Sisters of the Presentation in Fargo, who gave me that hand-embroidered table cloth as a wedding gift.
- the kindness and love of so many from this congregation who have given me special little gifts that decorate tables and shelves.
- the love and faith knitted and sewn into all variety of prayer blankets in my closet.
- the gift of music that has enabled me to sing and play guitar with hundreds of kids over the last 50-plus years.
There is no end to the blessings I can count just by looking around my office! Try it in your own environment.
Thank you, my Lord Jesus, for the people and experiences and gifts you have put into my life, represented by the many “things” in my office. When I consider that YOUR love is in all of these things, I am greatly moved and filled with gratitude. Amen.