In Praise of Grace


In Praise of Grace
Yes – we are mere hours away from the time we gather around the non-pardoned turkey to feast, hopefully laugh, and surely stuff ourselves with some of the best tasting food we have been waiting for all year.
But before the frenzy begins, it’s important, as you know, to stop, really stop, and say “thanks.”

Last year Anne Lamott wrote a piece called “Counting Our Blessings: Why We Give Thanks” for Parade magazine (props to Parade for printing something by the usually irreverent Lamott!).
Lamott recounts various prayers she has heard and witnessed over the years – and concludes that grace has a specific purpose:

“I think we are in it for the pause, the quiet thanks of love and for our blessings, before the shoveling begins.  For a minute, our stations are turned to a broader, richer radius. We’re acknowledging that this food didn’t just magically appear: someone grew it, ground it, bought it, baked it; wow.”

So as you bring your loved ones together, take a moment, to reflect, to be quiet, to be thankful. 
And if you need a Thanksgiving prayer, here’s a lovely one from Rev. Lynn James:
We gather today, Lord of abundant life, as grateful children.  Delighted and humbled by our bounty, we celebrate gifts of food and shelter, of colors that dance at dawn and dusk; we relish the scent of cooking foods, of burning leaves and summer’s wet grass, of snowflake, of animal fur.  We marvel at the intricacy of spiders’ webs and fish bones, newborn babies and lines etched on faces of grandparents come for a visit today.  All gifts from Your hand.  When our meal is completed, leftovers stashed, and naps taken, we will leave replete, energized, and eager to go generously into the world and share our good fortune.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.  Have a slice of sweet potato pie for me.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012.  If she had her way, Thanksgiving dinner would be pies, just pies.  Her position with the Conference is funded through a  generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.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.