Quick to listen
O God our strength, without you we are weak and wayward creatures. Protect us from all dangers that attack us from the outside, and cleanse us from all evil that arises from within ourselves, that we may be preserved through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
(The prayer for August 29th, the 14th Sunday after Pentecost)
This week’s small group Bible discussion went a bit longer than usual. We focused in on James 1:17-27 & it prompted lots of good thought & discussion. I chuckled when I learned how Martin Luther did NOT appreciate the book of James … “But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (James 1:22). I get it! Luther had turf he had to defend. Today we call it tribalism, being in a bubble or just being a fan (short for “fanatic”).
I grew up in an era where “self-discipline” was considered a true virtue. I thought that if you allowed yourself to express every emotion, it was self-indulgent and somehow wrong. I was the oldest and I would regard my younger very exuberant sister & brother with a bit of contempt & superiority as they always talked too loud, laughed too much, cried too easily and shared too much. I find it interesting that I took pride in what I DIDN’T do!
So here we are in an era of political talking heads competing for “clicks,” “influencers” & leaders who will say & do almost anything for financial gain & it feels like everyone is expressing an opinion on everything. There are evangelical preachers telling folks who they need to vote for & who they’re allowed to love and talk show commentators giving medical advice. Really important information is shared alongside the trivial & the deluge is enough to make your head explode. So, as we read James, I felt like he was speaking to me. “let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, For your anger does not produce God’s righteousness” (James 1:19).
The “quick to listen” part is still a particularly challenging morsel. For me, I think it has to do with constructive critique, advice from people who care for & love me, people I know and respect. It’s Pastor Emily’s sometimes challenging sermons & my fellow weekly Bible study partners’ thoughts on scripture. The voices I refer to in the previous paragraph are a distraction to these better, more important voices. And, I’m lucky. I know that I have people around me who will tell me the truth even if it’s painful.
I’m still chewing on this passage but for now, the message I’m getting is to stop screaming at the TV and just get busy doing something productive. To that end, please mark “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday, September 12th on your calendars. We have a gleaning project scheduled for the 11th and highway cleanup and an advocacy project on the 12th. Watch for more details. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)
May the Peace of the Lord be with you!
By Tony Walton
Change. This word is often equated with a sense of uncertainty, anxiousness, even fear. As a population we love our routines, we often long for the expected and the planned, even as the world changes around us for good and bad. I require a good amount of sleep and a cup of coffee every day. I like to eat dinner by 6. I want to be able to count on a set schedule so I know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
But things don’t always work out that way. A surprise meeting that I wasn’t expecting derails my plan to get some exercise during lunch. A chipped tooth while eating an otherwise delightful dinner has a real knack for casting a gloom over the entire evening. A new process for submitting work at the office, a car wreck, even something as simple as running out of your favorite beverage can just ruin your day/week/month. And so we try to keep a distance from change, to do everything we can to make certain that our lives remain as un-interrupted as possible… all according to our plan.
But that’s not the way God’s world works.
When Rebecca and I had been married for about 1 year, I lost my job at a dotcom company when that bubble popped. We were in a very small town with few options, and I was at the beginning of my career in Graphic Design, and in the exploding heyday of the Internet, working from home hadn’t yet become mainstream. We had just bought our first house and were in a real bind financially. Change had come unbidden to our lives, and we were in a tailspin trying to decide how to address it.
After months of prayer and no luck on the job front, we went on a ski trip with our local church group. (My sister-in-law paid the remaining balance on the trip deposit we’d made before my job dissolved.) When we returned, there was a message on our answering machine (answering machines . . . goodness) from a former classmate asking if I was looking for work. The company he was working for in Fort Worth, Texas, was looking for a Graphic Designer, and he would love to put in a good word for me.
So there it was, change was going to take us from the town we grew up in. It was taking us from our family, friends, and church. Granted, Fort Worth was only 2 and a half hours away, but for two 21-year-olds who hadn’t strayed far from home for most of their lives, it was an exciting, if frightening, step. Fast-forward 23 years, our lives have changed so much that the children we once were are barely recognizable. The goals and desires we once had have morphed into new ones that we have embraced and now cherish. And, of course, the change that made us so nervous and anxious 23 years ago led us to Prince of Peace and our current church family.
I’ve been a member of the Lutheran tradition for only around 4 years now, but it’s already become obvious to me that change is not something that many Lutherans do easily. Steeped in tradition, the ELCA is a beautifully structured organization, and administration goes a long way to ensure that what was anticipated in January remains the same in December. There is great comfort in this for a great many people.
And yet, this particular congregation doesn’t shy away from change. The move to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation was a major change that displayed both courage and conviction. The way the church banded together and didn’t miss a beat through the various changes in the pulpit over the years evidences a solidarity when confronted with the unexpected that many would envy. The way we transitioned from in-person to online worship in the face of a global pandemic exemplified our dedication to both our faith and to one another.
Despite the uncertainty that it can bring, we are no strangers to change. In fact, I feel that Prince of Peace more than many of the other churches I have called home is not only unafraid of that oft-dreaded word, but in many ways embraces it whole-heartedly. And this willingness to dive deep into the uncertain and the different is something that truly sets us apart. My prayer and hope for this congregation of adventurous souls is that we continue to seek out ways we may further pursue God’s vision for our church and welcome the changes that his path holds for us.
By Colin Johnson
Have you ever had the nagging feeling there is some unfinished business that, while not urgent, should nevertheless be completed . . . by you? “What is it?” you fret. Why don’t I keep a set of notes about these things? What was I doing when I last thought of it? Who is waiting to hear from me?” Then, you spot a business card in your junk drawer, see a piece of equipment in the garage, or notice your laptop sitting on the patio table in the thunderstorm, and that light bulb flashes over your head, “Oh, yeah! That’s it. I should take care of that.” Well, that is how it happens with me. Then you move on and within a day or two you have forgotten it again. Probably not the laptop, though.
Or maybe you know exactly what it is that is unfinished and you just don’t have the motive to attack it. You just keep allowing it to nag, nag, nag at your soul. Also happens to me.
Which is worse? Or should I ask, Which is better? That sounds more positive.
My most recent experience of this kind occurred when I accepted a nomination to return to PoP Council after a two-year hiatus. In 2019, I had just completed a period of five consecutive years, first as a one-year replacement in an at-large capacity and then two terms as Council Secretary. I was flattered to be recognized in our last election cycle, but had hoped that “the call” to return would be at least another year or two off. Moreover, I had spent the eight months following the end of my last term as a member of the Call Committee as well as the previous year as the Council’s representative to what was called the “Transition Team.” This team represented a relatively new step instituted by the Synod in the process of calling a new pastor. Its members would work with the interim pastor designated by the Synod to produce a document that had several functions. That is, we ASSUMED that these functions were clearly enumerated and would be followed in order. It was part congregational history, part site analysis, and part planning for the future. A pretty significant order. Interim Pastor Teri Hermsmeyer exhorted us that the Transition Team Report was our best shot for the congregation to redesign our organization, reposition our mission, re-whatever-we-wished-to-do in order to revitalize our congregation. We would certainly get the Synod’s attention.
PoP was clearly anxious to move forward. We had been told by the Synod representative who came to Logan and outlined the process that it could likely last at least the better part of a year to ?????? Consequently, the six of us appointed to the committee began to work on the report in late fall, toiling for more than six months through semi-monthly meetings. Ultimately, we produced a 102-page document consisting of roughly 20 pages of soul-searching analysis followed by several appendices of transcribed documentation. Many scraps of paper were involved! The report was presented to the Synod, along with a summary document, and to the PoP Council. Out of this, a Call document would be produced by the next committee. But nearly immediately all but three members of the committee left the area to take up the next chapters of their lives: Chair Eric Allen departed for graduate school and seminary, Debbie Waite to pursue retirement in Washington State with husband Phil. Pr. Teri completed her interim assignment in August and went home to Colorado, and Karon King cut her Utah ties to be closer to family in the Deep South. I continued on to the Call Committee as the designated representative from the Transition Team, a continuity process designated by the Synod.
What followed is history: the Call Committee began its work in early May 2019, a little more than a year after Pr. Scott announced his call, land the Lord sent us Pr. Emily Kuenker the following February 2020 and led us for two or three Sundays before . . . (cue ominous musical minor chord)
The Covid-19 Pandemic hit!
Of the Transition Team, only Karin deJonge-Kannan, Julie Latvakoski, and myself remained at PoP. So when I returned to Council last month, I was curious about the status of the Transition Team Report, upon which we had labored so long and hard. We knew—or assumed we knew—its various functions: 1) a document to inform the Synod of our “identity” and “personality” in order that they match us with appropriate candidates, 2) that the Synod would pass the document to pastoral candidates interested in our congregation in order to learn the same, 3) that the Call Committee would use the data to prepare its own document and to inform the questions it would use in candidate interviews, 4) that the new Council had incorporated its advice into its policy agenda, that the congregation would be acquainted generally with its contents because all members had participated in a standardized survey, assembled in small group focus meetings, and provided recollections of memorable events going back a quarter century or more, and 5) that the new pastor, Council, and congregation would move forward in pomp, majesty and harmonious accord with programs and practices proclaimed therein. Yes, we were certain of those things. Amen.
We made few hard copies of the report, but the document had been available in the Narthex and perhaps linked on-line to the Proclaimer.
What I discovered as I rejoined the Council indicated otherwise, and the little nagging voice in my head spoke the catchphrase so popular today: “We need closure on this.” I brought this up to Council members and learned that the document was largely unknown and was a dim memory among a few, including Pr. Emily. Apparently, sharing the document as a recruiting “tool” was not part of the process. In fact, it is now apparent that few of the items listed above came to pass. And it was truly nobody’s fault.
As one who has always avoided—or attempted to—reinvent the wheel, I felt the report needed another chance, at least to assess its relevance under a new pastor with fresh ideas and plans of her own and a new Council in a world ravaged by a one year plus pandemic. If anything, this might give a voice to the four members of the team no longer present. The document deserves another chance at a longer “life,” I rationalized. Apparently, others agreed with me and that process has begun.
“So how does this affect me directly?” you may ask.
One of the concerns addressed in the Transition Report and even more urgently as we move out of the pandemic and resume the “normal” work of our mission, concerns ways in which to improve the efficiency of communication among us. Perhaps this is partly a result of our Zoom conditioning. For example, we are aware that sometimes members needing to contact the church office find that the answering machine is full. Wonderful device the answering machine, but absolutely useless if packed with messages! As Council Secretary, I came to suspect that my reports were not accurate because congregational records were not up-to-date. Moreover, some important business has been delayed or pushed up against deadlines because mail has gone unattended or unnoticed for a period of time. Things just “fall through the cracks” because someone believes another person has it under control—read, “in their job description”--and will take care of it. Or maybe they feel they are overstepping their authority and hesitate in their “If you see something, say something” responsibility. You know how it goes. We have even heard that the congregation may have incurred a fine or two for business delayed past a deadline due to this.
So, currently there is activity in the PoP Council, Pastor Emily, and the Personnel Committee to review and rewrite job descriptions. Not only should this enhance internal communication but also the efficiency of the church operation in our mission. Also, it will, we hope, engage more members as we provide additional participation opportunities for some, reduce the workload of others, and alter the functions and authority slightly among the Council and the various committees and teams, a few of which have probably needed some serious redefining for years.
Accordingly, I invite you—we, the Council, invite all members--to participate in this bit of unfinished business by reviewing the document. We will make a few hard copies for checkout and provide a Proclaimer link to it online. It provides some historical context about the congregation, defines to the best of our ability our identity as a congregation in 2019, and looks forward toward the application of our talents and resources within the context of our mission. I suggest it as means to reset “a new starting point” in our journey with a new pastor with a plan to revitalize our body and grow our viability and sustainability, key issues brought up in the transitional interim surveys. As a full blue print, the report may be a little faded and dog-eared at the corners after a couple of years, but the content is still solid. Some comments may even have you cracking the smile of familiarity. We hope that by (re)acquainting yourself with the report, you will become motivated to participate in the work of the body as we move forward in the community.
Playing the notes
By Kristi Grussendorf
I think it was Miles Davis who said that Improvisation was “The freedom and space to hear things.” Following Pastor Emily’s sermon this past Sunday, this got me thinking about the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How often are we so consumed by our own voice, our own agenda, our own “to do” lists to not provide the space necessary to hear where God is leading us? I also need to remind myself of the amount of hard work and practice that needs to happen before an artist can improvise effectively. As I take on a new role at Prince of Peace as your council president, I thank you for your support & ask for your prayers. May the Spirit guide us as a council, that I am able to equip myself with the appropriate tools to adequately lead, that we not only listen but have the courage to then, “play the notes!” And most importantly, may we always remember why we’re here and whose we are.
Again, it looks like I’m writing about balance! In my last council corner message, that was a pervasive theme. In preparation for being receptive to the Spirit speaking through the other voices on this year’s council, I just received and read the Transition Team Report (thanks, Colin!) Thank you to all the people involved with writing, compiling and researching this important document. I have read through our PoP by-laws again and have tried to familiarize myself with Robert’s Rules (the abbreviated version!). I’ve also met with Pastor Emily several times and am looking forward to our council retreat where we will get to know each other better and have time to make some strategic Christ centered plans. Again, I ask for prayers to help us find a date that works for us all in the next couple of months and for our work together on that day.
Miles Davis also said, “A painting is music you can see and music is a painting you can hear.” Since I’m a visual artist, this brings it back around to familiar territory for me. This time around, the painting I am sharing with you is one that has just returned from a really big show in NYC. Most appropriately, it has found a new home with Sandra Weingart. It’s called “The Tie That Binds” and it’s a cruiciform composition, one of the most stable visual structures. I painted it from a reference photo taken in Amish country on a very rainy day (hard to paint watercolors in the rain!). We had been warned many times that not everyone was okay with the tourist “gawkers” always taking photos but we were four artists and just couldn’t resist getting out to take photos of these beautiful cows. They were heading somewhere but we were a disruption. Many stopped to stare at us. Then, came the formerly unseen farmer, whose work we had disrupted. I felt such guilt and discomfort and all I could do was gasp, “beautiful cows!” with genuine admiration. The young farmer without a trace of impatience or contempt just said, with a quick smile, “thank you.” Such grace and understanding!
we are church
by Cary Youmans
Through the years, I have encountered a few individuals who share my birthday, May 23. The first was David Manweiler in the first grade. Everybody except David and I had to color two birthday cake pictures. We each only colored one, which we exchanged. Another was a young man whose parents hosted me during a college choir tour. I discovered we not only shared the same birthday, but his name was the same as my nephew, Damon. This year, I share a birthday with a different kind of "person." This year, my birthday falls on Pentecost Sunday. This year, I share a birthday with the Church.
As a soon-to-be 60 year old, please allow me to share some insights I've picked up along the way about being the Church . First, to be the Church is to be the Body of Christ. I've adopted "follower of Jesus" as the label I use to describe myself over the last several years. While I don't actively dislike the term "Christian," I find the literal definition "little Christ" too... little. I don't want to be a little Christ. I want to be a big Christ. I want to be a full measure Christ; a "pressed down, shaken together" Christ; an "Eternal Life" Christ. To me, being the Church means to be like Jesus as much as we are able. To be LIKE Jesus, we need to BECOME like Jesus. To become like Jesus, we need to follow Jesus in the path and example He shows us. THAT path begins with our baptism. Just as Jesus was Baptised with water and with the Spirit, so our journey as the Church begins with our baptism with water and with the Spirit. We are launched, as Jesus was, into our new life as the Church with God's proclamation, "This is My beloved [child]." We ARE God's beloved children, filled with God's Own Spirit.
My second insight is about acting like the Church. The evangelical tradition I began my journey in emphasized personal salvation, proselytizing, and "making disciples of all the nations." I was indoctrinated that faithful, Bible-believing Christians are to "seek and save the lost." Barely two decades ago, I was introduced to Jesus' self-described mission:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
After reading this passage from the prophet Isaiah, He then proclaimed, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He identified Himself as the One on whom God's Spirit "is upon," and anointed to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. As Christ's body in this time and place, these tasks are the Church's mission; OUR mission . We are called to liberate and recover; to proclaim good news and God's favor. It is now up to us to fulfill these scriptures in the world’s hearing.
The third insight (because I was a pastor once and 3 point messages were EXPECTED), is about loving like the Church. We have a new commandment: to love one another as Jesus loves us. I've found that this one can be a bit tricky. Most of the time, Jesus loves us like "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." But other times He loves us like, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" Sometimes we're offered the promise of God's house with many mansions where a place is being prepared for us; other times, we're driven out with a scourge after our normal daily routine has been completely overturned. The tricky part is knowing when to love in which manner. Sometimes, we who are the Church get it wrong, and we whip when we should welcome, or welcome when we should whip. We need to be like Jesus and recognize those instances when "tough love" is the most loving, liberating act we can perform.
My final insight (a "summary" insight, lest I violate the expectation of 3 points), is that, if We the Church become, act, and love as Christ's body in this time and place, maybe, just maybe, we would find ourselves accidentally preparing for our "Bridegroom's" sudden, surprising appearance. I wouldn't have had this insight if not for context provided by the last 4-5 years. I was jaw-drop agog at the profession of some Christians, many of whom I used to study and pray with, that the election of a former, orange-hued, White House occupant would somehow motivate (manipulate?) Jesus' return to earth. In this absurd context, I had to consider, IF We the Church COULD have ANY influence on when Jesus returns (I know, we can't, "...only the Father knows..."), wouldn't a liberated and recovering world/society be more inviting than the horror show created over the last four years? Wouldn't God bid the Only Begotten to return to a world that would welcome and celebrate Jesus' return, rather than reject and execute Jesus all over again?
Therefore, let us be the Church. Let us be Christ's Body in the world in this time and place. Let us be Jesus' heart and hands and voice manifesting God's transforming love upon the earth, upon our culture and society, and upon the relationships we share with every living thing. This Pentecost Sunday, remind yourself, "I AM the Church, and the Church is me." And since WE are the Church together, this May 23 is ALL our birthday! Happy birthday, Church!
the art of balance
By Kristi Grussendorf
Balance. I struggle with balance. As I write, I worry that the three people who read this are going to worry about my mental health. I’m okay…really:)
My mom says, “You think too much, Kristi.” Do I? If that’s the case, why do I forget birthdays and appointments? Why do I seem to notice a building on a corner I’ve driven by hundreds of times only to be told that, yes, it has been there for at least a couple of years…
Right now, I have a headache. Maybe I DO think too much! Not everyone with which I associate, knows that I’m an artist. I hate to stereotype but maybe this is one of the reasons I am not a linear thinker. The traits that make me creative, while challenging at times, have also saved me. Art has saved me. It’s a refuge, a place to escape those bigger balance questions. For example, when do you forgive and when is accountability necessary? Is it true that there cannot be any peace without justice?
Those are questions I am unable to answer but as an artist, let me share with you what being an artist, especially a watercolor painter has taught me:
By Frank Pultar
To preface: I do not know the original author of this story, but it spoke to me, and I thought it was worth sharing.
I was at a Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line; one was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one; which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but then the bigger boy took it and the baby started screaming again.
Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glow sticks and handed it back to the baby. As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing and his brother said "I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it."
I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, "I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose."
That little baby was happy just swinging that "unbroken" glow stick around in the air because he didn't understand what it was created to do, which was "glow".
There are some people who will be content just "being," but some of us have been chosen by God to be "broken". We have to get sick. We have to lose a job. We go through divorce. We have to suffer with the disease of addiction. We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend, or our child because, in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us, but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created.
So when you see us glowing, just know that we have been broken but healed by His Grace and Mercy!!!”
So, let your inner light shine and you will not only light a path for yourself, but also light a way for others.
It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. - Psalm 18:28
inspiring Music For Your 2021
By Cary Youmans
I came across the link below on FaceBook, posted by a former pastoral colleague. The link opens a page with commentary about, and audio links to, J.S. Bach’s Cantata, BWV 28, “Praise God, This Year Is Coming to an End.” I hope you enjoy this sacred music, and that it encourages you to be a blessing in 2021.
Deo soli Gloria.
Cary J. Youmans.
Christianity in the Time of a Plague
By Dave Wilson
When I was a kid I first learned about some of the great plagues in recorded history; not only the Black Plague, but many others including when smallpox ravaged much of the New World over a period of more than 300 years (A friend of mine has a Native American niece who is quite assimilated and not overtly bitter toward Europeans. She calls Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day “Smallpox Day”). Many poor countries in the world regularly have plagues of fatal diseases today even when there is not a worldwide outbreak of a novel virus. It has always fascinated me that during times when sick people were often boarded into their homes to die and many bodies were not properly disposed of because of justifiable fear of disease, some people took care of large numbers of the sick and dying. Today we see countless examples of this as health care workers and others risk death to care for them. In the past as now, this includes Christian people and those from other religions risking their own lives to provide religious comfort or other supportive care to the sick.
The last major nearly worldwide influenza plague, often called the Spanish Flu (naming a plague for another country has not gone out of style today; that virus almost certainly emerged in the central U.S. and spread to Europe via WWI soldiers) took place 100 years ago. All of the same arguments, politicization, unwillingness to strongly enforce laws and fines or for some to wear masks, insistence by some that the plague was not real and resultant deaths that we see today also took place a century ago. Many people recognized that parades, large gatherings, reopening of bars and theaters, etc. were followed by massive death loss; bodies rotted on the sidewalks in some major cities. It is not my purpose here to inflame these arguments or proclaim which “side is wrong”. We all see enough of that every day. I only point out that not much has changed in 100 years. However, another aspect of plagues in history is that frequently there has been reluctance to avoid large gatherings in church or other religious spaces, and strong desire by people to continue singing in close proximity to each other. Funeral attendance has often been a subject of some controversy as well. For some, large wedding gatherings have now been postponed and the joyous day of marriage has not been celebrated as it would have been for all but a few years in the 25,000 year history of people on this continent. The time for commemoration of the departed and celebrations will come again.
Prince of Peace has dealt with all of these issues regarding life, spirituality, weddings, sickness and death.
The difficult decision to stop indoor church services and group singing in close quarters was made. This included telling the congregation that shares our building - and happens to be at higher risk of death loss because of demographics - that they could not meet there either. No other large events can take place in our building for now. Because we are saving on less expenditure of some parts of our budget this year, we as a church are giving more financial support to community needs organizations, but the need continues to grow. A dedicated group of people worked tirelessly for approximately two months to clean and do other tasks so that Narcotics Anonymous could have two meetings each week in our building. We were told that those meetings represented two of the three weekly NA meetings available in the entire valley. Recently, considering the overwhelming of the health care system and the unprecedented new infection rate of the virus, we stopped hosting the NA meetings. These are by no means clear cut or easy decisions, and for some the “right answer” may not be what has been done; I do not claim to know for sure. As an epidemiologist and a biologist I strongly believe we have done the best for all. Nevertheless, I also want to acknowledge that those who visit or take care of the sick, help with grieving for those who have gone on to the Church Triumphant, and have gone to the fullest measure to support activities such as substance abuse support groups are the true embodiment of the Carpenter from Nazareth. News came today that the single most promising vaccine so far has also shown that any vaccinated individual contracting the coronavirus has not become sick with any serious clinical signs in the trials to this point. As King Charles II is supposed to have said, the plague rouses men and women from their sleep. We are all awake now, and I hope and expect we will stay that way for the rest of our lives after this pandemic ends.
By Barbara Daniels
Give thanks for parents; their wisdom guides us.
Give thanks for children; their growth amazes us.
Give thanks for pets; their faithfulness and enthusiasm bring us joy.
Give thanks for democracy; our vote is counted, and counts.
Give thanks for Pastor Emily; she leads us with a steady hand through turbulent times.
Give thanks for the NA group that meets at Prince of Peace; they comfort and encourage one another.
Give thanks for rain and snow; they are God’s provision for our planet.
Give thanks for masks; they protect our loved ones.
Give thanks for the medical community; they risk all to save lives.
Give thanks for musicians; their talents and sharing uplift us.
Give thanks for technology; it enables us to see more of one another safely.
Give thanks for the food pantry; generosity feeds both recipients and givers.
Give thanks for Chosen Heritage; they praise God and serve our community.
Give thanks for teachers; they educate and inspire.
Give thanks for the free gift of grace through Jesus Christ.
Feel free to come up with your own as you reflect on all you have.
This blog is run by the council members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Logan, UT. For more information, check out our church's website at princeopeace.org.