As some of you know, I was raised in Glendora, a small town in the San Gabriel valley. There I attended the United Methodist Church from the time I was in pre-school until I left for college. I had a very good experience growing up in that little church.
Last week we explored what it means that we are saved by grace through faith. In studying Paul’s brief summary of the gospel in Ephesians, we learned that salvation is entirely God’s gift to us and, as such, is not dependent on anything we do.
Last Sunday I said that a minister has to be a preacher, a teacher, and a pastor and that a
minister needs faith, intelligence, and love in order to fulfill these responsibilities. But since the minister is merely an authorized representative of the church’s ministry as a whole, what is true of the minister is also true of the church’s ministry.
I stand before you in humility and with gratitude for the awesome responsibility entrusted to me by the bishop and his cabinet who have appointed me to be your next minister at Christ Church by the Sea.
On this Sunday before the Thanksgiving holiday, it is fitting for us to reflect upon the importance of gratitude. After all, that’s what “Thanksgiving” means: to give thanks or to be grateful. At the center of this holiday there is food coupled with a memory.