A Word from Pastor Stefan
I am grateful
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalms 9:1).
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a gift for you. We would like to give everyone a free gratitude notebook. On Sunday, October 1, we will hand them out to everyone. During the month of October, we would like to invite all of you to have a special focus on being grateful. You can use the notebook each day to write down three things for which you are grateful. For example, you could write, “I am grateful for my family, my church, and my life.” When you come to church, you will hear at our services how important and essential it is for our faith to acknowledge that we are grateful to God who graced us with life and so many things. Everything we have is a trust from God, placed by God into our care and management. All that we “have” is God’s. God is the creator and owner of this world and our lives and all the things we have. It all belongs to God. When we become aware of this, we will find great joy in giving.
I mentioned in my last Communicator Article that “when we are grateful, we act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense scarcity, and we are willing to share. A grateful world is a world of joyful people. Grateful people are joyful.” (quote from Dominican Monk David Steindl-Rast).
I hope all of you will participate in this month-long focus on being grateful. I am convinced that this will help all of us to live more joyful lives. Thinking daily about being grateful does something to our minds and heart. I can attest to this because, for a while now, I have been practicing being grateful by writing in my gratitude journal each morning.
Here are some examples from my recent writings: I am grateful for George and Kathleen Gentes, our Choir Director and Organist for 39 nears. George and Kathleen announced their retirement beginning on January 7, 2018. For this I am not grateful, but I am grateful for their beautiful ministry of music they shared with us for so many years. We are very blessed to have had such excellent, dedicated, and spirit filled musical leaders who helped all of us to connect closer to God through singing and listening to beautiful music. Please mark your calendar for January 7 for a celebration worship to thank George and Kathleen for the many blessings they shared among us. In the meantime, please share your appreciation with them whenever you can.
I am grateful for Maria Pignato who worked in the office for 12 years. She is moving on to a new position. I am grateful for the excellent administrative work she did in the office and to the beautiful pictures she put together for our weekly PowerPoint presentations.
I am grateful for the completion of our new flooring installation. Please take a look at how nice our church looks because of your generous giving to our Mission Appeal.
I am grateful that I can visit my mother and brother in Germany during the second week of October.
I am grateful for our Reformation Service and Concert (the concert will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Schaumburg) on October 29 and the Reformation Poster exhibit that we will have in our church starting October 21 and running through November 5.
I hope that all of you will commit to this spiritual practice of being grateful each day of the month of October as you take the time to write down your thoughts in a journal or use your smart phone to create a daily gratitude memo.
May God continue to bless us as we grow in our faith in God and service to God’s people in our community and beyond.
With a grateful heart,