Giving Thanks – Showing Gratitude – and Giving
I’m writing this Moderator’s Memo while away on a slightly extended Thanksgiving break, which has allowed me to spend more time with family than I am usually able to do. By the time you read it, I will be back in DC, caught up in the whirlwind of activities that December and the holidays always seem to hold in abundance.
But this time away – as well as the season – also encourages me to think about giving thanks – and giving more tangibly. And this gives me a good opportunity to say “Thank You” to each one of you who have already pledged to our 2020 Stewardship Campaign: Reaching In, Reaching Out. I want to encourage those of you who have not yet done so to submit your pledge as soon as possible.
Pastor Ellen’s Pastor’s Page last week had a special resonance as she again talked about our implementing a regular gratitude practice. As she noted, “Whether you name 1 or 10 things a day for which you are grateful, a focus on gratitude has positive benefits: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”
She linked to a Yale University article that explains gratitude practice, so I took a look, as many of you might have done as well. According to the article:
The holiday season is a good time to think about gifts, and not just the paper-wrapped kind. The people in your life can themselves be gifts—and so can a thousand other things, big and little, many of which you probably overlook day to day. Taking time during the holidays to notice, contemplate, and express gratitude for these people and things can make your holidays far more meaningful.*
I’m pretty good at noticing the people and things that make my life, not just the holidays, more meaningful. I’m less good at expressing that gratitude, so that’s something I need to give a lot more attention to in the coming days and weeks.
Peace and Joy,
*Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence: http://ei.yale.edu/what-is-gratitude/
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Advent Retreat, 12/7—You’re invited to join Pastor Ellen this Saturday from 1-5 pm for a time of spiritual renewal and restoration amidst the often hectic holiday season. RSVP: pastor@
Misa Criolla Service, 12/8—The choir has been rehearsing this gorgeous piece of music for months, and you are in for a wonderful treat! We’ll also welcome five new members this Sunday.
Secret Santa for Shaw Community Center, 12/8— If you’re a Secret Santa, please bring your wrapped gift (with tag) to church this Sunday.
Bible Study, 12/8—We’ll meet after worship this Sunday to continue our discussion of the Book of Revelation (Ch.11-22). All are welcome!
FaithLife Group, 12/8—Join us this Sunday from 5:30-7 pm for a discussion about Holy Envy (or, how we approach other faith traditions). For this month’s short article, email Dan at Dansack1962@gmail.com.
Christmas Pageant, 12/15—Our regular worship service will include the annual Nativity Pageant. All children and youth (including visiting family and friends) are invited to participate. Pageant participants: please plan to arrive by 9:15 am.
Taizé Service, 12/17—You’re invited to gather in the sanctuary at 7 pm for a beautiful, candlelit service of prayer and chant. If this time of year holds grief as well as joy for you, this service will honor both.
Poetry, Lessons, & Carols Service, 12/22—We’ll celebrate the coming birth of Christ with a service of poetry, scripture and song.
Christmas Eve Potluck and Fireside Service, 12/24—If you’d like to gather for a potluck supper at 5:45 pm, RSVP: email@example.com.