One of my favorite theologians and pastors is Howard Thurman who, among his many achievements, was the first African American dean of the chapel at Boston University, was the co-founder of the first intentionally bi-racial and interdenominational church in the United States (the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco), and unofficial chaplain of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's.
It was Thurman's practice to include a short meditation with every service bulletin. His full career and productive retirement yielded a gold mine--maybe many gold mines--of meditations. One of my favorites is his "Sacrament of Thanksgiving."
"Today, I make my Sacrament of Thanksgiving.
I begin with the simple things of my days...."
Thurman goes on to list those simple things. When I read the prompt for the day, I could not help but think about a sacrament of Thanksgiving...a sacrament of Thanksgiving for those who have supported and sustained my ministry. And so today--the day after Thanksgiving--I make a Sacrament of Thanksgiving.
Today, I make a sacrament of Thanksgiving for all the people at Live at Five and for the many times we have gathered around the table together:
Larry and the choir and the music that weaves us together;
People who serve at worship:
acolytes and altar servers,
readers and prayer leaders,
ushers and alms bearers,
people who set up the altar,
preachers and priests who join us from time to time,
people in the pews who lend the voices in song and who
raise their spirits in prayer,
dogs and cats and mules and chickens and all kinds of
crawly beings who join us on the Feast of St. Francis,
the Live at Five Council who gives guidance with wisdom,
the Worship Committee and their creativity,
the Vestry that supports us,
and the Community of St. Michael's.
Today, I make a sacrament of Thanksgiving for Live at Five.
One of the many ways our Live at Five community contributes to St. Michael's is by sharing our celebrations and our identity as an intentionally diverse and bi-cultural community with the larger community. We'll be sharing two celebrations in December--the Feast of Guadalupe(December 15) and Posadas(December 22). I hope that you all will put these celebrations on your calendars and help give the gift of Live at Five to the congregation of St. Michael's.
In the meantime, please give yourselves the gifts of time and silence.
In gratitude for all of you.