Beloved Friends-

Never forget to say please and thank you.” I suspect Kim and I are not at all unique as parents when we think back on the number of times this simple phrase became a mantra for trying to teach our now grown daughter the value of living from a place of deep gratitude.

As I think back on that season of our lives what is surprising to me is how much I needed the reminder- perhaps even more than our beautiful baby girl needed the teaching of her moms. Over the years, during the months of October and November, when the church is engaged in an Annual Pledge Drive, and as we start preparing for Thanksgiving, I often think about how often I simply forget “to say please and thank you.”

So, I want to do that now with each of you: please know the depth of my gratitude for the honor and privilege of walking beside you in this ministry- more than ever, and thank you for showing up for this ministry and this way of being in the world.

This Sunday, during our Trinity@Home worship service, we will offer prayers to bless the pledges we have gathered this year- remembering they are signs and symbols of the commitment we make to the year ahead. Thank you if you have made a pledge and thank you in advance if you are still in the process of preparing or discerning what to pledge.

The amount of your pledge is truly less important than the act of exercising our “muscles of gratitude” –it  is a way of being in the world that changes everything around us. Giving opens our hearts to the reality that all we have is ours for a sacred moment and the greatest gift may simply be found in recognizing our connection to everything and everyone around us and then living from an awareness of deep gratitude.

This will mark the formal end of our Annual Pledge Drive, Faith-Filled Generosity. I want to thank all of our Trinity friends and members who so beautifully shared their stories answering the questions: Why Trinity? And Why now? Becky Koskinen, Karen, George & Henry Keune, Madeleine Breen, Will Dailey & Leah Reed and this Sunday, Chelsie Cree- each of you bring so much to our community; thank you for your stories and lives full of faith-filled generosity.

May you never forget that you are loved.

The Prayer of Thanksgiving (by Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861–1918)

For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thorn bush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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