June 15, 2012


Filed under: Children and Families,Cycle of Prayer,Social Gospel,Time and Talent — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 6:08 pm

Here the People may add their own thanksgivings.

Thank you for the invitation. I accept!

It seems that my daily life and vocation are dominated by thinking, speaking, and writing about the offerings that we make as whole and healthy stewards. This week, however, I am more mindful of the many, diverse, and sometimes seemingly unrelated offerings that make my community a whole and healthy place to live and move and have my being.

The end of what turned out to be a tough school year and the start of a more relaxed summer pace has been a time of particular mindfulness as my child transitions from grade school to middle school. We have been incredibly blessed with teachers who are genuinely partners in helping my child become her best self. I give thanks for their love, dedication, talent, and gifts.

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom: Enlighten by your Holy Spirit those who teach and those who learn, that, rejoicing in the knowledge of your truth, they my worship you and serve you from generation to generation. (BCP, 261)

Last weekend I watched as 20 youth updated their lifeguard training, preparing for the start of the summer camp season. I wasn’t a camp kid; in fact, I have rarely been as miserable as I was during that single week in July, 1974. As an adult, however, I deeply appreciate camp and town rec for their formative place in our children’s lives. I give thanks for the counselors, staff, and volunteers whose time, talent, prayer, presence, and service make camp a life-giving and life-changing experience.

Dear God, You brought us to camp where you’re not judged and feel safe. Each day we grow together, with your help along the way. The happy moments we’ve shared and good times that never end. Without you there wouldn’t be the beauty in the world which we see, like the sky, the clouds, the mountains, and the weather throughout the year. So last of all we thank you for answering all our prayers. (2002 sports and games campers; Wanakee United Methodist Center)

This weekend, 2,500 cyclists and several hundred supporting volunteers will Trek Across Maine to raise $1.5 million in support of the American Lung Association. I give thanks for the time and dedication they offer in riding the 180 miles from Sunday River to Belfast. Together, their effort makes a significant impact on clean air and improved lung function through medical research and community support programs.

As we bike through the city streets, the highways and mountain trails, Protect us Lord from spills and crashes, dogs who like to bite our shapely legs, potholes, cracks and sharp objects that flatten our tires, rains and thunders, and all kind of nasty accidents. Give us the energy and strength to wake up in the morning and ride up the hills and mountains to reach our destination. Grant us the courage to descend rapidly down the hills and toward the finish line. May we experience the joy and the ecstasy as we are moved by the beauty of nature, as the sun and the wind caress our face, as we feel one with the bike and the road and forget about the time, as we get in touch with the child within us, as we enjoy each others’ company, as we feel we could bike forever.  (A Cyclists Prayer, adapted)

Tabitha’s Closet is a collaborative project of several churches in my small town. Three times each year, clothing, toys, games, and household items are offered free of charge to any who are in need, without screening or qualification. I give thanks for the simplicity of this ministry, following Christ’s example of clothing the naked and caring for the poor in our midst.

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy. (BCP, 260)

And finally, I give thanks this day and every day for the father, and the father figures, who shape me. Their strengths and their failings are at the core of my essence. They fill me with an abundance of love, compassion, dedication, talent, prayer, presence, and gifts that I can only hope to pay forward through all the days of my life.

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen (BCP, 230)


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