From Rev. Pat Kriss: Thank You, Jesus
(Posted November 22, 2017)
Just about now you may be in the midst of brining your turkey, or trying to remember the secret ingredients that your grandmother used to put in her spectacular stuffing. Or maybe you’re trying to camouflage the fact that your cranberry sauce is a direct result of a can opener and Ocean Spray. Or, maybe the one thing you’re making for Thanksgiving is reservations.
Either way, maybe now is the moment to reserve some time before it gets any more hectic to pause and say, “Thank You.” If you’ve been past our First Church in the last few days you may have noticed a sign out front. It simply says, “Thank You Jesus.” After Sheila Tracy brought it back for us from Ashboro, North Carolina, I put it out on the lawn because, really, we all need once in a while to pause in thanksgiving for everything we have but often forget to acknowledge as a gift from God. What more appropriate holiday for this than Thanksgiving? So, thank you, Jesus, for this wonderful congregation and for the warmth of belonging to something far greater than ourselves.
When Sheila first told me about these signs which she saw everywhere while traveling in North Carolina, I became intrigued with the story of how they came to be. It seems that a young teen, Lucas Hunt, is very active in his Hopewell Friends Meetinghouse. He started out last year wanting to express his gratitude to Jesus at Easter time, and made a few of the Thank You signs. But then people kept asking him if they could get some for their own lawns. A few signs turned into many more, the next time at Christmas, began to appear outside North Carolina, and now have spread across the country. At present accounting, more than 102,000 signs are planted across the country. No one is more amazed than Lucas Hunt, who never intended to start a movement, but only wanted to say “thank you” to the one at the center of our belief and worship.
So at this Thanksgiving, I also raise in prayer thanks for so much. For a dedicated church staff who say ‘yes’ with such grace to all the demands of keeping the wheels on the track, thank you. For our deacons who give so generously of their Sunday time, thank you. For our Fellowship that keeps rallying to help us with events, thank you. For our Church School director and teacher, our magician, and all the little ones who help keep us on our toes, thank you. For our music director, our choir, our soloists and our Children’s Chorus, thank you. For those who labor in our Thrift Shop, and for those who volunteer their time in the Overflow Shelter to make it even possible, thank you. For our Contemporary Spirituality volunteers and for our Youth who are breathing a new life into First Church, thank you. For every person who has contributed support this year, whether it was as large as replacing a ceiling or as simple as handing in a pledge card, thank you. And for the honor of serving as your teacher and guide through the Scripture, thank you. For all of you, may you feel a sense of accomplishment, and may your gravy be free of lumps. Blessings. – Pastor Pat Kriss
Reminder for this Sunday: The congregation will be invited to come forward to place a picture or remembrance of anyone who will be very much in your heart but absent this Thanksgiving and Christmas.