Gratefulness Corner – Nov. 6, 2016

On Wednesday night, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years!  One of my friends posted a video of Chicago after the victory and all you could hear was cheering and applause.  People in Chicago were celebrating an amazing victory after 2 lifetimes of ups and downs before a 7th game of equally powerful ups and downs. 

Every Sunday as a part of our worship we applaud the offering.  This is a practice that I miss deeply when I am at other churches that don’t applaud the offering.  Not having this practice as a part of worship makes the offering feel like obligation, instead of opportunity.  We started this spiritual practice of applause during a season of stewardship several years ago and it continues during this year’s stewardship season, titled “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed.” 

Stewardship season at St. Paul’s becomes an annual time for members and friends of St. Paul’s to seek in their hearts how to use their resources to do God’s work in the world.  We encourage you to take time during this season to find spiritual practices that help you to recognize where God has given you blessings in your life, and then to imagine with God how you might share these blessings with others.  Stewardship is about financial blessings, and it also is about other gifts we have to offer.  Perhaps you have felt a spiritual nudge to serve the church or community in a different way with a gift you have been given.  Blessings come in all different sizes and shapes, and stewardship becomes about sharing them all to make our community a better place, a more God-filled place.

This week I invite you to use applause as spiritual practice to remind you what you are thankful for in your life.  We applaud when we appreciate and want to celebrate with gratefulness for a blessing someone has shared.  May it also be a reminder in this season of stewardship that through the ups and downs of life, God does provide blessings of love for us to share with our community.  Perhaps someday we can share this practice with other churches; so on Sunday’s people will hear cheering like Wednesday night in Chicago. 

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler