Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Mighty God of mercy we thank you for the resurrection dawn, bringing the glory of our risen Lord who makes every day new.
Especially we thank you—
For the sustaining goodness of your creation,
For the new creation in Christ and all gifts of healing and forgiveness,
For the gifts of relationship with others,
For the communion of faith in your church,
For what else do the people of God give thanks? (ELW Morning Prayer, p. 304)
In our hymnal’s liturgy for daily morning prayer, we are invited to consider and pray for those things that we’re thankful for. Additionally, those of us who participate in the St. Paul’s Prayer Community Facebook group are invited to give thanks each morning. And giving thanks is important.
When we give thanks, we remind ourselves of the good things in our lives, of things we might otherwise take for granted—a roof over our head, food on the table, clean water to drink, friends and family, and so much more. In a world where there is so much bad news, we need to be reminded that there is good in the world too.
Even more, these good things in our lives are gifts from God. Our confirmation class is in the middle of studying Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, and we have recently reviewed the first article of the Apostles’ Creed, where Luther explains that, “God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and farm, spouse and children, fields, livestock, and all property—along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life.” God who created us and redeems us also promises to provide for us, and all that we have is a gift from God.
This year, as we begin our stewardship campaign, our theme is “Super Grateful.” In response to all that God has provided for us, we are called to give thanks. Additionally, we are super grateful for all the support that you have provided St. Paul’s through your generous giving of your time, talents, and possessions. Your giving supports the mission of the church. It allows us to do ministry together. By giving generously, you have made it possible for St. Paul’s:
– to worship three times every weekend,
to gather for Bible studies, music, exercise, prayer, and other events,
– to open our buildings to support AA and NA groups and blood drives,
– to give food to Extended Hand Ministries and Mt. Nebo,
– to share school supplies with Mt. Holly children,
– to donate money and animal care items,
– to support the work of Bridge of Peace in Camden,
– to continue giving generously to the work of the NJ Synod,
– to provide aid for refugees and hurricane victims through Lutheran Disaster Response,
– and much, much, more.
When we give generously, it’s not just about keeping the lights on at church. When we give, we are engaging in the ministries of the church, and sharing the good news of God’s love for us. As our new mission statement reminds us, at St. Paul’s, everything we do is about celebrating God’s love through service. Your act of giving is a celebration of God’s love, and it is a thankful response to all the gifts that God has provided for us. For this, we are SUPER GRATEFUL!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I pray that you take time to give thanks. Whether big or small, we can give thanks for all kinds of things in our lives: a beautiful morning, a good day at work, a good meal, a friendly pet, a new grandchild, new beginnings, recovery, love, or comfort and peace from God. As you pause to give thanks, I also encourage you to consider how you can share your thankfulness for all that God has given you by giving generously to the mission of St. Paul’s. Pray about how God is at work in your life, consider your budget and time, and pledge your time, talents and possessions to the ministry we share.
Even if you are unable to pledge your giving to the church, please know that this Thanksgiving, I am super grateful for you!
Rev. Jessica Hahn