One of the best things is gratitude. We are grateful to God for the goodness of this life, for the surprise of grace, and for the community of the church. It is important to tend to the best things, like expressing our gratitude to one another.

This week we are grateful for much. We are grateful for a weekend, where our congregation voted to call another minister to its staff. We are thankful for Morris and Dawn, who will pick up their lives and move to be with us. We are thankful for the many conversations and the many prayers during this process.

We give thanks for our tradition of music and worship, which enriches our lives. We are grateful for the members of the Search Committee: Ronda West, Shane Dunn, Wally Ridgway, Belinda Wright, Suzanne Parish, Carolyn Grimes, Ben Shell, Julia Morgan, Mary Joe Howard, and Bryan King. We are also grateful for the many people the committee consulted as advisors, an entire network of pastoral musicians and churches, throughout this process of discernment.

We also offer our thanksgiving to many lay leaders and choirs, who provided essential leadership during this time, as well as to Eddi Vinson Riley, who enriched our congregation. We give thanks to a congregation as well, who supported and prayed for the church and the Search Committee. In addition, we are always thankful for how the Spirit of God weaves itself through all the connections and conversations, particularly during this search process.

We will formally offer our thanksgiving on Sunday, February 7 after worship, recognizing Eddi in a gathering moment, so we might have a chance to express our gratitude for her. In the coming weeks, we will also tell her informally how much her leadership has meant to us. On Sunday, February 21, we will welcome Morris again, as he begins his leadership with us.

We have much to be grateful for in terms of our music ministry. We are also thankful for the wedding of Laura Edgar and Seth Kochera, as we plan to gather on Sunday, February 14 at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. The entire congregation is invited to the wedding to join them as we celebrate. Let us give thanks for all of the goodness that we find around us, knowing that it speaks of the grace of God.