My wife’s family has a tradition of putting three kernels of corn on your empty plate before the feast begins. When you’ve been waiting to eat the feast and you’re finally sitting down at the table, this form of piety seems a bit much to many. But it has served its purpose and reminds me to consider what I am grateful for in the last year. So before I go to lunch, here are three things in no particular order that I am grateful for at EPUMC
I am grateful for the staff, especially those who must put up with me every day. I don’t have time to call out each person, but let me tell you, I could. There have been some comings and goings over my six Thanksgivings here, but the core of Don, Deb, Rick and I have remained the same. In these days, Becky, Terri, Tim and Elisha and Susie the accountant who comes in one day a week make up our staff. In the last two years, we have become much more collaborative in our time together. This means we not only work well together, but work together well… we have each other’s back, we pitch in when someone needs an idea, we have a lot of laughs. I’m so grateful for the gift of collaboration.
I’m grateful for all of you. EPUMC is a great bunch. I mean it when I say I enjoy the work of being your pastor. I so appreciate your acceptance of some of my foibles… and imperfections. Although how I pronounce the way in which we do our laundry may be tolerated by most everyone, other shortcomings, in my experience, have not been so graciously overlooked. This acceptance has helped me both heal and has energized my ministry to a degree I wasn’t so sure I’d ever know. This kind of attitude is a sign also of what we call in my world a “healthy congregation.” And like any other body, when the body of Christ is healthy, you can focus on what matters in life more clearly. I am so grateful that at EPUMC, we are a bunch who does not sweat the small stuff too much.
Finally and I don’t know how to say this, but it is that the last year has been without a doubt the most exciting time I’ve known in my 35 years of being a full-time local church pastor. This “New Energy” we keep talking about is undeniable. This energy extends beyond Sunday morning. I know because I’m here most every day. We can call this experience a lot of things: new people, creativity, focus. These are all true and they add up to the gift we have been given by God to share with our world at EPUMC. I am grateful to be a part of these times at our church.
Have a great Thanksgiving and if you’d like, get back to me on something you are grateful for around EPUMC.