“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else.
What you must do is this:
“Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks.”
I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”
Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

In countless ways, I am profoundly grateful for the words and witness of Wendell Berry, a author, poet, and prophet for our time. This particular excerpt from his novel Hannah Coulter is one I love. What better words to reflect upon this Thanksgiving day!

Today, I rejoice evermore…
… in our beloved community: all the saints and sinners, makers and misfits; the ways you love each other so very well; the shared dreaming I hear you doing for who God is calling us to be ‘for such a time as this’.
… in our shared work of Love in this world, work that is innovative and inclusive, work that is transforming lives and our city each and every day.
… in the God who binds us up and makes us one, the Christ who models for us how we might live and points us to the margins where the Kingdom is breaking in, and the Spirit who emboldens and empowers us to live and love as Jesus did.

Today, I pray without ceasing…
… for the sick and suffering, those whose grief is stifling, whose anxiety is paralyzing, whose fear is crippling, and whose hatred diminishes the capacity for light and life.
… for Love to be the orienting force in our country and our world, breaking down walls, borders, and barriers which try and keep us apart from one another.
… for those who claim Christ to become agents of justice, reconciliation, and compassion for a hurting, confused, and fearful world, and for our church to lead in that way.
… for families and relationships where trust has been broken, resentments have settled in, indifference has wounded confidence, and hope seems lost.

Today, in everything I give thanks…
… for you, dear church, and the power of your faithful witness in this world.
… for my family and friends, colleagues and partners in life and ministry, whose love I do not deserve but through which I know life abundant.
… for the material things that meet basic needs and allow space for delight.
… for freedom and possibility, for health, for eyes that might see and ears that might hear.
… for the God became flesh so that all creation knows hope, peace, joy, and love always.

“I am not all the way capable of so much,” but I do know these are the right instructions — on Thanksgiving Day and every day!

With deepest gratitude for you,
Pastor Emily

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