Nov 1 Gratitude: Intro & First Reflection


For the month of November, we offer you a daily meditation on gratitude. Use this to help create a positive, resilient framework of hope and healing for yourself, your relationships, your community, your nation and world. Gratitude changes perspectives and even makes the impossible become more possible!

We are grateful for each of you, and the unique ways in which you contribute to our community. You have probably leaned heavily on special gifts, experiences and strengths to flourish through these days and times, so we offer you a blessing from the church.

We have prepared these daily reflections for you. We invite you to turn to these sacred texts and poems, and brief commentaries by different people, to lift up one thing for which to be grateful. When you make gratitude an every-day habit, it soon becomes a spiritual practice and mindfulness discipline. Giving thanks, for one simple thing, helps create greater bodily, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing.

Begin or end each day with the advice of the poet that follows. — Rev Gail

START HERE — Steve Garnaas Holmes

Those mornings when you wake up burdened,
already thinking Oh why bother,
start here:

thank God for one thing.

One person whom you love will do,
though even a remarkable coincidence is acceptable.
You don’t even need to go into peaches,
the color blue, or migratory birds,
or a child’s laugh you heard the other day,
let alone the angelic speech of nerve synapses
or the inscrutable ballet of spiral galaxies,
or God’s outlandish love for you.

Just one thing to give thanks for.

Then resolve to live the day
in adequate gratitude for that one thing,

and begin.


Today is the first day of the month. We could get wrapped up in the calendar, the upcoming holidays, the need to make plans for the weeks ahead balanced with so many uncertainties that making planning tough. We could focus on tomorrow, instead of taking the opportunity to be present to now. To focus on today.
            Also, in addition to being the first day of the month, it’s Sunday. For some people, this marks the beginning or end of a busy week. While Sunday is a recreational day for some people, out of necessity it’s a work day for others. Yet within our faith tradition, we are encouraged to set aside this day — or some other day which we claim as a sabbath — for respite and renewal.
            So let’s begin the whole month, and this spiritual exercise, by simply being grateful for this measure of life and consciousness. Give thanks for today — for this 24 hours — for one more day — for this gift of time. — Rev Gail

This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.
— Psalm 118: 23-24

Whoever says “I have lived” receives a windfall every morning he gets up. — Virgil, Aeneid

“Death is certain; the time of death is uncertain.” That reflection awakens in us the precious gift of the present moment—to seize this chance to be alive right now on Planet Earth. — Joanna Macy

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