Church Within
Thanksgiving Service of 2001

Offered by

Minister Judy Girard     [visit]

Your Gifts of Love to others make possible the growth of this Ministry and are greatly appreciated by all whom they serve.

11-22-2001 Thanksgiving Service of the Church Within
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Today's Service is offered by: Minister Judy Girard

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
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Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-146 Section-2)
        And then Jesus said: "Be not constantly overanxious about your common needs. Be not apprehensive concerning the problems of your earthly existence, but in all these things by prayer and supplication, with the spirit of sincere thanksgiving, let your needs be spread out before your Father who is in heaven."

Thank you All for being here…
Thank You Minister Judy for this Soul Touching Service…
Thank You God for Everything!

“For what we are about to receive, let us be Truly Thankful”

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Quotes
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(From the KJV Bible: John 3: 27)
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

(From the RSV Bible: John 15: 5)
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing

(From the RSV Bible: Micah 7:18)
Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in steadfast love.

(From the RSV Bible: Ephesians 2:4)
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us

(From the RSV Bible: Isaiah 55:7)
let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

(From the RSV Bible: Joel 2:26
"You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame

(From the KJV Bible: Psalms 29:11)
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

(From the RSV Bible: Obadiah 1:3-4)
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose
dwelling is high, who say in your heart, "Who will bring me down to the ground?"

(From the KJV Bible: 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(From the RSV Bible: 1 Corinthians 1:10)
I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

(From the KJV Bible: 2 Corinthians 13:11)
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

(From the KJV Bible: 2 Corinthians 9:15)
Thanks be unto God for this unspeakable gift.

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The Sermon
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        As has become my custom, and in honor of the anniversary of my ordination as a minister of the Church Within, I offer the following Thanksgiving service. I wish all of you happiness, Peace, much love and perhaps most importantly, hearts of gratitude. If you live somewhere where this is not a time of National Thanksgiving, please join your hearts with those of us who live in the United States.

        Tonight (Wednesday) I attended an interdenominational prayer service. A Lutheran pastor offered a reflection based in part on Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation of 1863. I found the reflection inspiring and fascinating. Perhaps I missed that section of American History, but I had no idea that it was Lincoln who, at the urging of a New York journalist, first instituted Thanksgiving as a National Holiday. His intent was for the day to be a day of prayer, fasting and thanksgiving.

        Many have expressed that they have mixed feelings about “celebrating” Thanksgiving in light of the Tragedy of September 11. However, keep in mind that Lincoln first proclaimed this holiday at the height of the Civil War. I hope that we never become complacent or forget the lives that were lost that day. I also hope and pray that we can begin or continue to place God first in our hearts and lives. For days and weeks after September 11, people prayed fervently. We flocked to churches and to memorial services in public places. We prayed perhaps more than many of us had prayed in our entire lives. We suddenly were faced with the reality that all of our power and strength and security as a nation had been shattered, or at least called into question. Lincoln's words echo as true today as they were over one hundred years ago.

        I draw your attention in particular to the following quote from Lincoln's address:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

Below is Lincoln's address in its entirety:

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens.

(Signed) A. Lincoln
October 3, 1863

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The Prayer
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Loving God,
        In all things and in all ways, let us remember to give thanks to you. In thanksgiving for friends and family, for prosperity, for liberty, for health and access to health care. For the many blessings you so abundantly pour upon us. And, special blessings on Danny Megow, who turns 12 today! Praise to you God, from whom all blessings truly do flow!
Amen.

God's love and Abundant Blessings,

Judy Girard, Minister
The Church Within


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