Bishop's Letter: Grateful for Community

Bless this celebration of thanksgiving. In the midst of preparations and expectations, our loud voices and quiet pain, our conflict and camaraderie, and our joy and weariness, bless our lives in all our wonder and frailty. Help us to see your steadfast love and your enduring presence in our lives.  
— Adapted from Celebrating at Home, Payden and Loving

After my husband Gary was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, it was hard to feel grateful.

We went home, questioning how we would get through this. We prayed that God would give us what we needed, and the eyes to see that God had provided. Each day we thanked God for being with us even when we couldn’t recognize all that had been provided.

As we gather around our tables this Thanksgiving, I know that some of you will be remembering those who aren't there. Some will be breaking bread in shelters, hospitals, or assisted living. Some will be wrestling with changes in health. Neighbors that have been evacuated from their homes will be wondering what they will return to. 

Many who have experienced great loss talk about the gratitude of community. The gifts of goodness, kindness, and compassion that have surrounded them.

There is so much going on in our world and in our Synod right now. We navigate many seasons of life. We are different in so many ways, and don't agree on everything. We live in a time that can divide us.

Yet we are members of one family, and we need each other. We share our lives. We give thanks for each other. We meet Christ in each other. We are church together.


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA