2012 has not been an easy year. We lost my mother, Judy Bright, to cancer in April at only 62 and during that time I was diagnosed and treated for a cancer of my own. Despite these difficulties there is much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for the honor to serve God as the minister of both Sunnyside Church and University Park Church here in Portland, to study on-line and on-site at Chicago Theological Seminary (and for the grace they have shown me this year) and for my family and friends who have lifted me up during challenging times.
In the Hebrew Scriptures we find Psalm 100:
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;*
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
In this spirit, I give thanks for all the many blessings I have. Despite the injuries suffered over this year it is hard not to feel overwhelmed with blessings as Liz and I watch our daughters grow and as I become closer with the parishioners whom I am in ministry with.
It goes without saying that 2012 has been a difficult time for many in our nation and the world. I give special thanks to those who find in their faith the courage to work for justice and the common good. And I pray for a better tomorrow for us all.