Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40)

Thanksgiving Day
November offers us a wonderful time and setting to give thanks. Praise God for the Saints who guide us. Thank you Jesus for the being The Christ, The Messiah, Son of God who abides with us. Thank you Holy Spirit for beckoning, provoking, and delighting us. Thanks be to the Triune God for the beauty and bounty of creation, the depth and breadth of being human, for the Grace that showers us and the universe's unfolding love.

The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner of Living Compass encourages people to be constantly "paying attention to what they are paying attention to" in their lives. Living Compass offers readers a wonderful "self-assessment tool" that validates whether or not we are whole, well, and balanced. Such a self-assessment offers a great means for objectively and spiritually ascertaining the true state of our relationships with God, family, neighbors, and ourselves. Thereafter, we can amend, reject, or appreciate what we are paying attention to right now. We can also proactively choose to redirect our attention to something else as necessary. I commend the tool to you as we conclude our relationships here at St. James with one another. It may be that you will individually and collectively find it helpful as this parish prays, discerns, and establishes a plan on how best to live into Christ's purpose for this Episcopal Church in Westwood.

Richard Rohr Book 
First, and foremost though, living life thankfully provides the best framework for living life to its fullest. Franciscan mystic and author Richard Rohr writes that: "Life is a gift, totally given to you without cost, every day of it, and every part of it. A daily and chosen "attitude of gratitude" will keep your hands pen to expect that life, allow that life, and receive life at ever-deeper levels of satisfaction -- but never to think you deserve it." (Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the 12 Steps, p 65) , Thanks should be the first thing we give each day. Without it, our lives cannot be as rich and graceful as God intends.

Please read inside of The November Communicator to offer and receive thanks for every aspect and moment of life happening at St. James.Take some time thereafter to contemplate how God is blessing your life. Consider as well, during this season of time and transition how God is beckoning you to pay particular attention to some aspect of your being. This focal point may be stewardship. It may be repentance. It may be joy. It may be health. Whatever it may be, put yourself in the place of Mary as she mourns her brother's death. Listen to our Lord remind her that our belief, our hope, our faith, our confidence enables us to experience God in our midst. And, most of all, our thankfulness provide us a pathway for receiving Jesus' gifts of life in every aspect, today and forever more.

Blessings and much Thanksgiving to you along The Way, Jim+   

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