I'll let you in on a secret. Each Thanksgiving, I pick one person in my life to focus on and offer thanks for to God. This year, it's Frances Sundt, and all of the Charter Members of this congregation. What a gift they have been to us. I think of the dreams they made into plans, the sacrificial giving they offered, the doors they knocked on, the invitations they extended, the chairs they set up (and took down), the vision they had for a church family to have a church home at 6565 E. Broadway in Tucson. Frances passed away recently, and I had the honor of officiating her memorial service. I'm truly grateful for Frances. As I said at her memorial: she's a woman who could be eating with a homeless person at noon and have high tea with the Queen at 4, and treat them the same. Frances was indeed a woman of deep faith, and she lived that faith in every part of her life. She's a role model for me in so many ways. I find this practice of giving thanks for someone at Thanksgiving challenging, in a good way. As I remember and give thanks for this person, I begin to make sure I am incorporating what I idealize about that person into my life. And I think I become a better person of faith. At every memorial service, I try to challenge with the closing words, "Take what was good in (Frances) and make it better in yourself. Imagine how much better the world would be." So, if you're looking for a way to give thanks this Thanksgiving, maybe you will want to try my annual giving thanks for someone. I pray it makes you a better person of faith and the world filled with better people of faith.
Peace in our journeys,
Pastor Steve Melde