At the time of this memo, Julius Jones’ execution has been stayed. He has been given life without parole, despite maintaining his innocence. I give thanks that today is not his last day on earth and pray for his release going forward.
This time of year, we talk a lot about what we are grateful for. I am grateful to each of you for making CPCUCC such a special, spiritually nourishing place. I’m a big believer in listing out gratitude. Try it tonight, if you don’t already have a gratitude practice.
In no particular order, here are some of the things and people I give thanks for at CPC this year: Mark Turner and the tech team for taking us hybrid. New bathrooms! The Board of Trustees and Buildings & Grounds for maintaining and improving our facilities during Covid. Every committee and committee leader for the work you do in service of our mission to nurture love of God and love of neighbor in the world. Ellen for keeping us together during Covid, when so many other organizations fell apart.
I give thanks to all involved in our racial justice audit so far, as an individual; committees; and as the team helping to administer it. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many organizations said they wanted to do something, but not all have made good on that promise. I am grateful to the Central Atlantic Conference for their labor of love in creating this document, and for entrusting us to pilot it.
As we look to the holiday season and give thanks, let us also consider where we give grace. Thank you for giving our racial justice audit team grace as we manage the pilot audit. Thank you in advance for your grace as we figure out how to make worship meaningful and inclusive for those at home and those in the sanctuary.
This Sunday will be our first time ever attempting hybrid indoor worship with people in the pews. At this point, tech support is entirely volunteer based, and none of us are experts. Our first few tries might be a little bumpy, but we will get there together. I suspect some of us who do attend in person may get overwhelmed returning to all these familiar faces and spaces at once. Let us give one another grace as we learn how to pass peace in this strange new world.
In peace and community and the grace that passes all understanding,
Questions to ponder:
- What are you thankful for?
- Where can you give grace? Where have you been given grace?
- In the New Testament, grace comes from the Greek word charis, meaning “that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.” How does this definition in Biblical passages affect your understanding of grace?