Inspiring Generosity


You Have Opposable Thumbs: Say Thank You

                               "Who me? Did I do something wrong?"

Six weeks ago, we got a new dog. Scout, a Lab/Newfoundland mix (at least that’s what we’re going with) is a dream – all 95 pounds of him. He’s loyal, snuggly, and a good walker.

Since he’s a rescue, the vet estimates that he’s around three-four years old. A previous owner took good care of him and we are grateful.
However, and this is a big however, Scout could use a little work on his manners.
A couple of weeks ago, dear friends from Seattle visited us. Erin brought some amazing pastries that we were to enjoy. On the first morning, we delighted in muffins and croissants. I had a half of one and they were to die for. Six or seven were left for the next two days.
Can see where this is going?
After breakfast, we all went for a four-mile walk. It was a little too hot to bring Scout so we left him at home. When we arrived back, you guessed it…there was nary a pastry in sight. If the box hadn’t been on the floor, we wouldn’t have even noticed the theft. We were slightly impressed and most definitely flabbergasted. At least he was neat.
So, manner #1 that Scout needs to work on: No stealing baked goods off the counter.
More importantly, here’s #2: He needs to say “thank you.” Scout gave zero recognition that he had indulged in our treats. Not a “gracias,” “merci,” or, “Hey! Thanks for leaving me yummy pleasures! You’re the bomb!”
Luckily friends, unlike Scout, you have a voice and opposable thumbs. You can express gratitude in a variety of ways.
Summertime is a great opportunity to say, “thank you.” There’s a lull in the action. Folks may be a bit cranky because it’s hot outside. They’ve been reading or listening to too much news. They need something to raise their spirits.

  1. Pick up the phone and leave a message of appreciation.
  2. Write a thank you note.
  3. Create a thank you video.

Most people rarely answer their phones these days. So be prepared to leave a quick but heartfelt, “Hi Julie Joy! This is Pastor Pat. I just want you to know how grateful I am for you and all that you do for our congregation. I hope you have a great day!”
And the pastor is not the only one who can make the calls. Get you Leadership Council involved in expressing gratitude via the phone. I can safely guarantee that no one is going to have a bad experience.
Or, write a thank you note. Need some ideas of what to say? You can find some suggestions in
Opening Lines: More Important than You Think
5 Thank You Tips that Might Get You a Second Gift
Just this morning, I opened up the quarterly giving statement mailed by my church. In it was a handwritten and personal note of thanks from our pastor. It has made my day.
Or…if you’re feeling particularly creative: Produce a thank you video that you can send in an email or through your e-newsletter. Want some inspiration? Check out
Make a Storytelling HGTV Video During COVID
A Thrilling Thank You Video
Scout may need a little work on his manners. But you’ve got the tools to tickle, lift the spirits, and please the people in your congregation.
Use your voice and opposable thumbs…go ahead and say “thank you.”

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Here’s a tear-jerking once-in-a-lifetime event for a busker. He definitely needs to say, “thank you.” You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.