Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late!)

I try to make a habit of being thankful on Thursdays... a habit, that like this blog in general, has been neglected. However, with this post I hope to begin to post somewhat more regularly again.

I originally wrote this as the cover article for our November church newsletter, which was published 10/31. Because so much of it is about what I'm thankful for, and includes what I would wish for anyone this season, I'm posting it here as well.

I hope your Thanksgiving day was blessed!



It is Thanksgiving this month! A good friend of mine calls this her favorite holiday because it is so uniquely American. Even those who are not religious will take time on this holiday to express gratitude for the good things in their lives. Christians may call these “blessings” or “gifts” and direct their gratitude to God in their Thanksgiving celebrations as did those who first celebrated this holiday.

Some of us will begin our celebrations by attending worship, raising our hearts and voices to God. Later, we might each tell of something for which we are thankful before sharing in a feast of turkey, trimmings and pie. I hope that each of us finds joy in expressing our gratitude.

I have never written in this space before, and my filling in as a Connections writer is directly related to something I am grateful for this Thanksgiving: my new role here at Crossroads as Ministry Coordinator. Writing those very words still feels so strange to me because the path of my life that led to this place was neither straight nor well-marked!

So you might be wondering, “What is a Ministry Coordinator, anyway?” Many have asked that question, and there are moments I count myself in that number. Crossroads has never had a Ministry Coordinator before, so I, along with Pastor Mark and our ministry staff and council, am figuring out what it means and how it fits in to what we are trying to do here.

There are two main things (along with some other things!) with which I am tasked:
1. Working with the Crossroads ministry staff to develop and implement ministry plans in line with the mission and vision of Crossroads, and
2. Helping members (that’s you!) identify and develop their own gifts, talents and passions for ministry. In other words if you are already involved in a ministry or would like to be, I am here for you!

As I have taken up this work, I am already finding myself thankful for many things. I feel so fortunate to come to work every day with other people who have a passion for ministry and who joyfully take up their tasks for God’s kingdom. We are all blessed here at Crossroads by their faithful work.

I am so thankful for many of you who have been encouraging as I try to begin answering the questions and determine how exactly I can best complete my task. I thank you for not only asking “What is your job?” but also asking “How is it going?” You are what is making Crossroads into the caring community we strive
for in our vision.

I have already enjoyed meeting some new people because of being in this role. If we haven’t had a chance to talk yet – or recently – I welcome the chance to catch up with you and find out what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

Mostly, I am thankful for being right where I am, even though it was unexpected, because I trust it is God’s perfect plan that led me here. This year I did a lot of waiting to find out what was going to happen next in my life, and in the waiting I found comfort in the words of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.

Although I am not waiting anymore, I find, even in this new task, that there is peace in knowing God has a plan…even when I do not know the details. (And I really like knowing the details so it is an extra measure of God’s grace that He is helping me to be patient!)

This Thanksgiving, I hope your heart easily turns to gratitude. I hope that if you participate in the tradition of sharing things you are thankful for, your list is long. Above all, I hope you are blessed with peace in knowing that God’s perfect plan includes you, too.

-- Originally posted at: