I probably saw a lot of you at the Turkey Trot this morning. What a privilege to be a part of Loving Arlington by sponsoring a race. Way to go church!
Which brings me to the subject of this post: things for which I am thankful. Seems like a no-brainer at the end of November, eh? Be patient with me.
I decided to limit it to things I am thankful for at Restoration SINCE Oct 16 (about a month). Look what can happen in a month at our church:
- We had our first annual fall retreat— over 140 of us took off for Massanetta Springs, the Swisher boys pounded us in corn hole, we laughed at Danny Ray, sang with Alex Mejias, had serendipitous sightings of the bishop, celebrated a gaggle of birthdays, toured a winery, and re-lived our freshman dorm experience. I loved that weekend with all of you and I can’t wait until next year.
- We hosted back to back new member dinners and thought we lost the Vinson dog (VERY thankful that was not true…). 35 adults stood, committed their time, treasure, and talent to what God is doing through our church, and signed the Big Green Book (TM pending). We now have almost 120 adult members with 60 kids along for the ride. What a fantastic community God has called together.
- 5 people were baptized on Nov 1. 3 beautiful little girls, 2 wonderful big people. I love watching us make promises to raise the little ones to a point where they confess they love Jesus. I love watching us celebrate the big people make public their desire for Jesus to be the one who forgives them and leads them.
- We sent out our first team of foreign missionaries. We provided funds, prayer, and partnership back at home for 3 women who taught teachers in SouthEast Asia. I have been inspired by their stories, by their prayer, and by their courage.
- Erin and Louise created a 4 week class to teach kids about the Eucharist. Over 15 3rd-6th graders participated. It was precious to hear them talk about the Gospel and being rescued by their King. And then to see many of them take communion for the first time on 11/22. I love this generation we are called to nurture and develop.
- We created the Outreach Steering Team– a gifted group who is charting the course for how we use our outreach funds to serve the most vulnerable and transform the people in our church. So thankful for their wisdom and attention to detail.
- We nominated a slate of 14 vestry candidates, then elected 9 of them. Our church will be under phenomenal leadership as we transition from our beloved Servant Team to a Vestry. God has provided so many gifted leaders in this first year. I am so grateful.
- We have been laboring in Ephesians 5. I have watched you ask good questions, pray humble prayers, and open your hearts to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Our small group leaders are some of the best I have ever seen and they have shepherded you well through this study in Ephesians.
- We had a small soiree at the Hilton. 🙂
not a bad month!
Through it all, by God’s rich grace, I get to be your pastor and now Rector. I am not sure this first year could have gone better. I love this job. I am so proud of you. I am so excited to see what God does in us and through us in the year to come.
For what are you giving thanks?
Share so that we can rejoice with you!
November 27, 2009 @ 12:21 am
First, I am especially grateful to live in a country where historically we have acknowledged our dependency on divine providence and provision.
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation 1863
Very close to home this year is my mom’s success in her cancer treatment. I am grateful for the technician that practically hounded my mom until she scheduled her biopsy. Throughout this crazy experience, I have been in awe of my dad’s persistently-selfless care for my mom. I am honored to have incredible, God-fearing parents.
On a RAC note, I’m so grateful to be plugged into a community of believers who care for the things of God and for me (can I just say for the thousandth time that it’s so cool to share in communion where people know my name)!
November 27, 2009 @ 1:13 pm
To list all the things I am thankful for would take way too much space. What I am most thankful for this very second is… 1) MY HUSBAND, who always works hard to support us. He had to work later than most Wed in the office (and much of the night and yesterday via blackberry) and is working all day in the office today without a single complaint and with a great attitude, to provide for his family, but also to best serve his clients and coworkers. On top of that, he did the bulk of the cooking and cleanup yesterday, with joy in his heart and a smile on his face. 2) For the local merchants who make my little piece of large NOVA such a great “small town feeling” community. Especially for all the awesome folks at D&V Texaco. Life is good. Thanks be to God.
November 29, 2009 @ 2:45 pm
At church this morning, I was (again) struck by SO many things I am thankful for at RAC:
1. An amazing Servant Team and many others, who have worked so hard for well over a year doing so many varied tasks (from large to tiny details) to make things happen. Can’t even begin to calculate the hours you have each given. Thank you!
2. For Louise, Steve and Grace who love our children and spend countless hours every week preparing to teach them and doing all the endless tasks involved in starting and keeping a children’s ministry and nursery going. For all the teachers, and other volunteers who labor along side the Brooks to keep these ministries alive.
3. For Kristen and Erica and all the rest of you with such great “artist eyes” and hands for decorating, putting together photos and all the other stuff you do to help beautify our worship experience. And for great t-shirts!
4. For Ramsey and his team of financial awesomeness.
5. For Josh, Erin and others who work so diligently to give us a great website.
6. For all those musically and technically talented folks who sing, play, run sound board and do powerpoint each week. Thanks for sharing your gifts!
7. For the gift of celebrating communion every week and for everybody who works hard to make that happen. I am especially thankful for this today. Thank you, David, for having weekly communion at RAC!
8. For Tom and Jeff and all those who work to make sure we have heat or AC, toilet paper and everything in between every week!
9. For the assimilation team for coordinating coffee and treats every week and for all the other work you do to get folks connected.
10. For the outreach team. For those who have worked so hard with AFAC on Sunday afternoons.
11. For Amy and others who work each week to give us a great worship guide.
12. For everybody I am neglecting to mention by name or committee. I am thankful for each and every person who makes RAC such a wonderful place to belong! Thank you!
13. And of course for Erin and David and Team Hanke!
Thanks be to God!
November 30, 2009 @ 9:51 am
GREAT list Jennie. This is what I feel when I drive away at 12:15 on Sundays. Wow! this is awesome. Thanks God for such great people who are committed to a great mission.