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Thanksgiving Letter From Reverend Joan


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Greetings to you all,

Some of my earliest memories are from church, singing hymns and choruses.   I remembered one of those choruses as I began to write this letter.  It is simple, but wisdom often hides in simplicity.

Count your blessings, name them one-by-one.

Count your blessings see what God has done.

Count your blessings, name them one-by-one.

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. 


If you know the chorus, you probably couldn’t resist the urge to sing it.  And now it will be in your head for the rest of the day!  You can be thankful that you didn’t have to endure me singing it. Thanksgiving is more than just a day or even a season.  I think being thankful is the primary motivation of the Christian life. We can be caught up with competing forces  seeking to displace our thankfulness, but we are brought back to thankfulness when we are aware of the love of God in our lives. God’s love is evident even in very simple, yet profoundly beautiful  things. This week, I am especially grateful for the moment my fourteen year old grandson reached out to hold my hand.


While I write this letter, I am thinking about us, about our parish; but I am also thinking of the millions of people in the world who are suffering. People who have nothing left to lose. People who are sleeping outside with nothing to shelter them from the cold and rain. People caught in terrible wars and natural disasters. People whose children are in pain. Some of us are suffering too, in ways that nobody knows. Being thankful calls us to live generously, to share, to be untiring in acts of love, and to be hopeful. This week, a man at a hospital gave me a lovely snack because he was sad and I looked sad too. That kind of generosity calls me to hope. 


Ultimately I believe that God’s goodness is extended to us in the person of Jesus.   Other good things come and go. Some day our health will fail us. At times family and friends let us down. Yet, God’s desire for us is for good, for growth, for love.   Scripture promises us that God is unwavering in loving us.


A thankful heart must be cultivated and nurtured. It doesn’t happen by accident. St. James was right when he declared that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming from God with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” That perspective can be life-changing. God’s gifts do not serve the primary purpose of our  own comfort. They are meant to be shared. We acknowledge God’s goodness and care, orienting our lives toward God, and living in ways shaped by thanksgiving and gratitude.  


The old chorus is correct. Let’s keep counting our blessings. And then let’s remember to share those blessings so that everybody has blessings to count! Our parish is a blessing in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Affectionately,

Joan

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All Saints Greely Anglican Church

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All Saints Greely Anglican Church

Box 412, 7103 Parkway Road

Greely, Ontario K4P 1N3

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