Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Message from the Rector of St. Philip's Church

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although Thanksgiving comes but once a year, we need to continually give thanks to God for all the blessings of life.

This year has not been without its challenges, with the failure of heating pipes in the church, the leaks in the hall roof, a broken water main, and continued financial difficulties. Yet as a community, we have risen to the challenges. We can be thankful for the faithful stewardship of members who have responded generously to special appeals for the tower and for the heating system, and who have continued to give faithfully for our operating budget. We can be thankful for the ministry of the wardens and Building & Maintenance Group, who have devoted many hours dealing with our aging physical plant.

We can be thankful also for the spiritual growth that is springing forth, among both young and old. Our Tuesday evening forum brings out deep and often passionate discussion on questions of living as Christians in our society. A large and diverse team of volunteers has come forward to re-launch a formal Sunday School for our children. “Holy Moly” is proving fun and educational for both students and teachers. We have a confirmation class for teens starting soon. Our support for the NDG Food Depot and St. Michael’s Mission continues to grow.

The root of all this is our people. Members have generously given of their time, talents and treasure. It may be one hour a week, supporting our worship as a sidesman, greeter, server, chorister or altar guild member. Or it may be 20 hours a week patching leaks in the roof and working with contractors on other repairs. It may be $5 a week in the offering plate, or it may be a $15,000 special gift for the tower. We give thankfully because we find God here, and because we have received blessings, whether in peace and prayer, or in music, or in fellowship and community.

In the prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi, we are reminded that “it is in giving that we receive”. In thankfulness for all that God has done for us, may we continue to give of ourselves, so that we may receive even greater blessings.

Yours in Christ

The Rev. James B. Pratt

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