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November 2014

posted Aug 19, 2015, 10:32 AM by Henry McTague

Dearest Friends in Christ,

November is upon us – the month of remembering the saints of the church, the service of our veterans and an opportunity to express words of thanksgiving for the many blessed places in our lives.  It is a holy month, a sacred month, in which to give voice to the ways in which other people have touched our lives and left their imprint for the better in our memories.

Often I have been invited to think about the people who are, or have been, role models for me.  That has always been a difficult question to answer, and I have struggled to understand why I cannot seem to name anyone that I admire enough to name a role model.  However, in thinking about the everyday saints who have walked in, and out, of my life, it is clear that God has sent quite a few my way.  I remember my parish priest, Father Pray, (yes, his actual name was Joseph Pray and he had “PRAY” on his license plate) who encouraged me to grow in my volunteer role as organist for the Saturday evening mass, and who was always a source of positive support.  Then there were a multitude of teachers who looked at a quiet, insecure girl and encouraged me to do things that I would never have tried without their help.  The list of “saints” could go on and on to include college instructors and seminary professors who helped me identify my personal gifts and encouraged me to widen my horizons beyond what I might have settled for in the past.  Surely God has blessed my life in ways that I seem to most often recognize in hindsight.  I should probably work on that.

It is good to have a month set aside for gratitude.  Much like October is breast cancer awareness month, November is blessing-awareness month.  Before we run head-long into 
December and all the excitement and craziness of the Christmas-related activities, we pause, take a breath, and offer our prayers of praise and thanksgiving for memories of joy and 
compassion, and for the present moments where we feel God’s comfort and love surround us.  There may be periods of sadness, loss, anger, disappointment or regret, too, as we acknowledge empty chairs at our dining room tables.  But even those moments have aspects of grace and gratitude for cherished memories and stories.  It is good to savor those 
memories, even as our taste buds savor the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie – and in our 
family, the cinnamon rolls that are the legacy of our dad.  Yes, it is a month of sacred 
remembering.

Wishing you joyous moments of thanksgiving, and loving memories,

Pastor Gail

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