Giving Thanks

Dear friends,

‘Tis the season of giving .. and of giving thanks.

I’m often amazed at the generosity of people in this congregation. You give so much to this community in terms of your time and resources. A few examples come to mind:

Kathy Norris has volunteered as the Y Wonders choir director for years. The Y Wonders is part of the older adults program at the Hurley YMCA. They rehearse every Monday and host several concerts throughout the year. What a great way to share her gifts of music and leadership. Thanks, Kathy!

Jonathan Williams was elected mayor of Spencer, NC this past November. Jonathan has enough going on in his life at this point — dad of 3 (including a newborn) and managing some significant engineering projects in Winston and Charlotte. But his passion for Spencer runs deep, and he’s eager to help out in whatever way he can. Thanks, Jonathan!

Amy Ritchie was recently honored by Meals on Wheels for their annual President’s Award. Amy has been a volunteer extraordinaire for MOW for years, which makes this award all the more fitting. Thanks, Amy!

Archie Dees, a senior at Salisbury High School, has always had a passion for the Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem. That’s no surprise since he spent his first six weeks at the hospital doing his best to survive. Archie gave a big “thank you” to the hospital and staff through a fundraiser he sponsored on November 23. Through his efforts, $28,000 was raised for Brenner and the children’s hospital at UNC. Thanks, Archie!

Angela Graham makes herself available for any- and everything at the Community Care Clinic. She arrives each week for 3-4 hours and simply says, “What can I help with today?” What a gift. Thanks, Angela!

Mike Jacobson had a long career with the railroad. When he retired, he became even more active mentoring kids at Faith Elementary School, spending several days a week at the school helping teachers and providing 1×1 help with kids who need the extra attention. The principal recently said, “I don’t know what we’d do without Mike.” What a gift he’s giving those kids. Thanks, Mike!

These are just a few of the many different ways you give of your time and resources for the sake of the common good. There’s no way I could list everyone’s contribution, but please accept this thank you on behalf of St. John’s and the wider community.

Mohammed Ali once said that “volunteering is the rent we pay for living on this earth.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s also a beautiful way of saying thank you — thank you to the community, to those who have gone before us, and to the many different agencies and churches that make our community a special place.

And, yes, it’s good stewardship in action. We often say that stewardship is everything we do after we say “I believe.” What we do matters. How we care for this community matters. How we volunteer our time and share our resources matters. The selfless ways you reach beyond yourself for the sake of others matters.

So thank you! As we give thanks during this wonderful time of year, know that we give thanks for you, too. Thanks so much for your partnership in the garden!

+Pastor Rhodes


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