Inspiring Generosity


Getting it Right: The Thanksgiving Grace
I’m baking some pies and putting the side dishes together in anticipation of tomorrow. Thankfully, no one has asked me to bake a dog cake. This is a re-post – there’s a lovely prayer here that you might consider using at this year's dinner table. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear reader. You are a blessing to me!

                                          "Lucky"    Alexas_Photos@pixabay.com

Well, the day is almost upon us. That turkey in the photo must certainly be breathing a sigh of relief. If you take the time to put blush on – you must be sitting at the table, not on the table, am I right?
Everyone is gathered ‘round your beautifully set table and they’re patiently waiting for you to say something. I don’t know about you, but I always find that Thanksgiving grace is a bit tricky.

It has to be a fine balance – long enough to express gratitude, but not too long so that people are rolling their (closed) eyes. You want it to be inclusive so as not to offend, but you also want to be true to yourself and your tradition. You want it to be the appropriate tone of joy with the right amount of appreciation. You want it to be just right.
Whatever you do, however, don’t ask a guest on the spur of the moment to say grace. You may end up with this classic and hilarious prayer by Greg Focker from the movie, “Meet the Parents.” On the other hand, maybe you should just show this clip it and call it good.
In case you’re scrambling for a prayer, here’s one that you might use:
Prayer of Thanksgiving
By Vienna Cobb Anderson
God of all blessings,
Source of all life,
Giver of all grace:
We thank you for the gift of life:
For the breath that sustains life,
For the food of this earth that nurtures life,
For the love of family and friends
Without which there would be no life…
We thank you for setting us in communities:
For families who nurture our becoming,
For friends who love us by choice,
For companions at work,
Who share our burdens and daily tasks,
For strangers who welcome us into their midst,
For people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding,
For children who lighten our moments with delight,
For the unborn who offer us hope for the future.
We thank you for this day:
For life and one more day to love,
For opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace,
For neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved,
For your grace and one more experience of your presence…
For these, and all blessings, we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,
Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
And if all else fails, you can fall back on the time worn standard:
“Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yea God!”
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you, dear reader. Thank you for being on the road with me. Have a fabulous holiday.
Originally published, November 22, 2017.

P.S. As always, an early Christmas gift from me to you…let me review your year-end letter and give you some feedback on it. Send it to me at InspiringGenerosity@gmail.com.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She’s sorry to say that her turkey does not wear blush. She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity


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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.