"Thank You is Our Practice"

Today was the big end-of-year flower communion and thank you service. One of the great things about being a minister is seeing the culture of the congregation change and grow. Today it became clear that gratitude has become a real part of South Valley. We thanked teachers and volunteers, outgoing board members, and our intern minister. (This was her last day, sniff!)

We’ve been singing a great little song called “I Am Saying Thank You” that our South Valley friend, Judy Fjell wrote. It’s very simple and makes a beautfiul round. The words are simply:

I am saying thank you.
I am saying thank you.
I am saying thank you.
Thank you is my practice.

Today the congregation sang it and sang it beautifully. That was one sign of the way gratitude has “sunk in” and become part of us. But the best moment, which was a surprise to me, was when the youth asked if they could have a minute in the service to say thank you to their advisors. They all went forward and one youth spoke with humor and grace about how much it means to them that their advisors “put up with them” all year. And then they presented gifts to the advisors and gave them hugs and handshakes.

I love being part of a congregation where gratitude and appreciation are modeled and lived out so beautifully. I loved listening to all the sweet children talking about the ways a church community is like a beautiful bouquet of flowers. (We smell good!) And I loved watching them give out the flowers, being sure that everyone got one and knowing that they were giving a gift of beauty and community.

It was a great Sunday and it was a lovely way to wear myself out. And now…back to bed with me.