Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thanksgiving reflection

On Saturday morning I went to a service of thanksgiving with a small gang of about 140 family and friends in order to praise God for his goodness. It was a wonderful morning. Giving thanks together is a privilege and a joy. A few people described it as an anti-funeral. Towards the end of the service, everyone had a chance to reflect on God's goodness and write a brief prayer of thanks onto a small card, which was then pinned onto a banner Jess and Bill made and which now hangs on our wall.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the morning happen. It was (yet another) delightful gift. Speaking of which, our rector Tim surprised us at the end of the service by getting us up and giving us a gift from the All Souls community - time off and some extra money for a holiday! Details are still being worked out...

I have posted the text of my reflection at the service here. Regular readers will recognise many of the ideas from recent posts.
First picture by HCS, taken just after the service ended.

9 comments:

Rory Shiner said...

Sounds wonderful! Susan and I add our thanks to God to the collection from over here in Perth.

::aaron g:: said...

What a great day!

michael jensen said...

Our heartfelt thanks consider also added.

Bummed to missed the day.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Well-deserved. I see balloons. Our church has no pews (it's a re-furbished abandoned tool and die shop in the inner city and looks nothing like a church from the outside), but the balloons reminded me of our annual Easter service in which balloons, noisemakers, streamers, and other forms of celebration play strongly at the conclusion of the service--and 40 days of Lent.

Grace and peace to you and yours, Byron, and I will pass on to our church the good news. I look forward to hearing that you still have the "all clear" ten years from now! :-)

Mikhaela said...

Oh the banner looks so pretty!!! (nice colours Jessie...)

I'm glad a good time was had and good thanks given for all.

m x

Jess Smith said...

We've had trouble taking a good photo of the banner. It looks much better than it does in the photo. We've got a lovely close-up which Byron may blog sometime. The prayers on the cards are amazing too - people gave thanks to God for all kinds of things and we happily get to overhear their prayers.

Jill said...

Sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing this on your blog. Can I ask a question Byron?
I have been thinking about the command in James 5 to call the elders of the church to pray for us when we are sick, and whether being served by our brothers and sisters in this way can be considered to be a 'ministry' . That is, could it be that at a certain time our role in the church family is to be served.

Christian said...

Most of all I think it was a time when God was honoured.

After the service, I couldn't help thinking what would happen if we all took Byron's lead and put on thanksgiving-to-God events every time God gave us an especially treasured blessing or rescued us from a severe hardship.

I think Byron's thanksgiving service was a good example of how to "proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light". (1 Peter 2:9)

byron said...

Thanks for all these comments and your support.

Jill - every member of the body is indispensible, according to Paul (1 Cor 12.14-26). Whether or not we call being ministered to a 'ministry', I agree that at a certain time our role in the church family is to be served. It is important to be able to receive help from others, as well as just offer it. In fact, that is precisely our most basic situation: being served by God. There is nothing disgraceful about needing and receiving grace!