Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It seems hardly possible, but October with its blue skies and brilliant leaves has come and gone. The season
that we call Autumn is more than half-way passed. The sun is rising later in the morning and setting earlier in
the evening and we are now entering the darkest part of the year. What a year it has been. It seems that
whenever we read, listen to or watch the news, there is some new disaster. Covid cases are on the rise again,
fires are burning out west, yet another hurricane has battered the Gulf Coast, tensions are rising around the
upcoming election, and as I write this, we are expecting the first snow (can you believe it?!)of the season.
As we move into November, with its increasingly shorter amounts of daylight, we are also entering one of the
most festive seasons of the year...the Holidays!!! The Holidays are when we gather together as friends and
family to celebrate. We watch parades, enjoy fantastic meals and give and receive presents. We gather
together to give thanks and to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The pandemic and the precautions we have to take
might seem to be taking the festive and the shine out of this usually festive and bright time.
As we enter into November, I would like to encourage all of you to think about beginning a practice of
gratitude. It is a simple thing, really. When you wake on the morning of November 1, think of one thing in your
life that you are thankful for. On November 2, when you wake up, give thanks for what you were thankful for
yesterday and then think of one other thing in your life you are thankful for. On November 3, give thanks again
for what you were thankful for the previous days and then add one thing. And so on for the month. Don’t
worry if you forgot what you said the day before, just give thanks for as many things as the day of the month.
(if you remember what you have already said you only have to think of one new thing each day! You could
keep a list and use that of you’d like and add to it each day.) The point is to recognize all of the blessings in your
life and develop a practice of gratitude. Do it for the thirty days of November. (you might even want to share
some of what you have come up with at your Thanksgiving meal...) At the end of the month, you can stop, or
you can continue. You don’t have to try to remember what you said in November add one more each day. If
you have a list, you can use that. Or, you can simply give thanks each day, naming the blessings that come to
mind. Hopefully, after 30 days. This practice will become a habit....
I know this sounds hard... “30 things to be thankful for!? Really!!” but it is not all that difficult if you simply
stop and reflect on your life. If you get stuck or need ideas, send me an email (email@example.com
) and I will be happy to send you some inspiration!
This holiday season is going to be difficult. Covid will / has changed how we are able to gather together. It is a
huge disrupter of community and belonging. It is forcing us to adapt to new ways of being that are not
comfortable. By developing a practice of daily gratitude, we can focus more on the positive, on the blessings
that we have. This will be a tremendous help as we move through what will be a different way of celebrating.
My hope and prayer is that you all have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.
May God’s love enfold you, the peace of Christ fill you and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit guide you.