The Friday Reflection – November 10, 2017

From Canon Anna Carmichael

Friends,

Around the office, I’m counting the days until the Presiding Bishop arrives and we host the long-anticipated Revival. There are post-its everywhere! Giant flip chart size down to the tiny ones. There are seating charts, parking instructions, yellow vests, walkie-talkies, purple swag, and a line of empty dt coke cans on my desk.

It is chaos.

It’s easy to get lost in the chaos this time of year. We’ve got pledge cards coming in, Advent plans in our brains, turkey and stuffing on our shopping list, presents to think about, visitors to retrieve from the airport.

So what if…and I’m preaching to myself right now…what if we stopped. Looked up from our screens. Took a deep breath. And said “Thank you, God”.

You see, it’s that time of year when folks start posting “30 days of gratitude” posts on their Facebook pages, and they talk about being thankful, and they share hugs and hold hands with loved ones. And all of that is perfect and wonderful and lovely.

And when the holiday season is over…we stop doing that.

But what if, as a stewardship practice, and really, as a spiritual practice, we took thanksgiving seriously. Not the holiday squished between Halloween and Christmas, but the practice of thanks giving. What if instead of “30 days of gratitude,” EVERY day you had one thing to be thankful for? And even better…if it’s a person or a group or a sunset, that you shared that thanks with someone else.

So in the midst of my post-it notes, walkie-talkies and dt coke cans, I give thanks for YOU. Every single one of you. YOU are what make the diocese a very special place. YOU are what makes me grateful to be with you. YOU are in my thoughts, prayers, and heart every single day.

Last Sunday we learned of the tragedy in Texas. These tragedies are becoming too frequent in our world. And they can make us afraid, bitter, and angry. And I have no words for how to make it better. But we, as a people of faith, are being called to respond to these tragedies, the destructive environmental forces of hurricanes, floods and fire, and the needs of those around us. We are being called because this is what it means to be stewards of God’s good creation. Stewardship is everything we do after we say “I believe” on Sunday.

So whether you’re practicing the stewardship of offering thanks in words, or offering love and support in action and deed, do it year round…not just during the holidays or the church pledge season. Stewardship is who we are as a people of faith.

I give thanks for YOU daily.

Cn. Anna

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