Yes, Thanksgiving takes place in November.  But Thanksgiving has been on my mind during these cold and snowy days of winter.  Not because I’m craving turkey and dressing, or that I need a pumpkin pie fix.  Thanksgiving is on my mind because of those two words: Thanks and Giving.

I’m thankful this time of the year for no mosquitoes or snakes to worry about during a morning hike.  I’m thankful this time of the year for a warm fire.  I’m thankful this time of the year for hot soup, hot chocolate, and hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  We have so much to be thankful for, even in these short, dark, and snowy days.

Giving is also on my mind.  This time of the year I usually bag up unwanted or unneeded clothing and take to Goodwill.  This time of the year I tend to give a little more to charitable organizations because I know this is a difficult season for many due to higher utility costs.  Today, I’m thinking about those federal employees who aren’t receiving a paycheck and I’m wondering what I can do to help.

Thanks and Giving require faith

Some worry about church finances this time of the year because we can miss a Sunday here and there because of weather.  But hopefully we all continue to give generously, even if we can’t make it to church.  Our Thanks and our Giving are important no matter what season of the year.  An example of Salem’s generosity is our noisy offering.  It costs about $250 per year to send 3 children to school in Papua New Guinea.  In 2018 we gave over $1600 to our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea, meaning that we supported almost 20 children towards education.  That’s a big deal.  That’s making a difference.  In 2019, we will continue supporting this ministry, but we will also be using our noisy offering in mission and ministry on a local level.  In faith, we will continue being the hands and feet of Christ both here in Mt. Sidney and in faraway places where it’s easy to be forgotten.

So as I write this on such a cold and snowy day, I give thanks for you.  I give thanks for your generosity, for your faithfulness, and for your warm hearts during the coldest month of the year.  Most of all, I give thanks to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for transforming us into Thanksgiving people.


Pastor Derek