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I want to offer something I frequently pause to do as Thanksgiving arrives: my top ten list of things I am thankful for.
10. Dear friends I can rely on to help me find my joy and to be there in good times and bad, friends new and old: for Jess and Raven, Mindy and Jeff, Jenny and Scott, Chad and Darrell, Don and Kent and Jim, Alice and Cameron, and so many more I cannot fully list.
9. For a Senior Staff who has helped me make hard, and sometimes painful, decisions but who always show up with good ideas, trusted counsel, positive energy, and professional experience: Traci, Karen Georgia, Heather, Alisa, Tami, and Cheryl.
8. For a United Church of Christ that continues to show up for justice, continues to manifest and embody love as an antidote to fear, continues to work to build a just world for all, and continues to act in a way that no matter who you are or where you are you are welcome here.
7. For the staff of the National Setting, who showed up every day during the pandemic and worked through horrible circumstances to craft a way where there was no way.
6. For a new office building that was years in the discerning process, and long hard months in the planning stages; that took every ounce of creative insight and energy from teams of people with imagination, spunk, grit, and determination to build; and which today is a state of the art, 21st century workspace conducive to collaborative working and creative thinking.
5. For the Council of Conference Ministers, who have led with honor and distinction through these last few years, who stood side by side with clergy who were growing tired and frustrated through this season of trauma and grief, and who are learning every day how to do more with less.
4. For clergy and chaplains whose courage and innovation, whose stamina and love for the church and those whom they serve strengthened their resolve and saw them through these last three years and who continue to lead and love and learn in order to honor their call and serve well.
3. For an aging body that, even with its new aches and pains, can ride a bike and walk a golf course and hike mountain trails and wrestle with grandkids and hold the hand of my beloved.
2. For a job I love that lets me work with people I love. For the trips I get to take while serving in this position and the people I get to meet on those trips. For the many times it affords me opportunities to bear witness to the difference that committed love makes in the world by disciples who believe Jesus just wants us to accept each other and love each other and care for each other.
- For my family. For two of the most beautiful children in the world, Jacob and Elizabeth who, every time I am with them, make the anxieties and the stress and the worries of the world disappear. For Adam, the child who still lives with us and who brings art and beauty into the world everywhere he goes. For CJ and Molly, who live all alone with each other on a distant shore but who remind us every day how much it matters to find someone you adore to live with. For John and Kelley and the beautiful children they parent with such love and grace, for the joy they bring to the world by making music, and for the partnership they have forged with each other. And finally for Mimi, the woman I fell in love with 39 years ago and remain steadfastly in love with to this day.
May we all take an accounting of our lives and give thanks for all that God has given on this, our journey Into the Mystic.
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