The Church Within
Thanksgiving Service of 2004

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.

2004 Thanksgiving Service of the Church Within
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29th 1996

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.

As has become a Tradition since Thanksgiving 1999 (the 1
st Anniversary of her Ordination as a Minister of the Church Within), today's 2004 Thanksgiving Service is presented by our beloved Minister Judy Girard. Happy Anniversary Dear Sister Judy!

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Quotes
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(From: Leo Buscaglia)
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

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The Sermon
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Once again, we have arrived at one of my favorite American Holidays. If you don't live in the United States, not to worry. The message is timely and important, no matter where you live. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, there is no time like the present to show your gratitude and appreciation. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. It's not very difficult, anyone can do it, and it doesn't have to cost anything. I challenge you this year to surprise someone with kindness and gratitude.

Stop for a moment and browse through your address book to identify the
people who serve you, keep you safe, or help make your life easier in some
way. Then, consider the people in your neighborhood, community, family or
friends. Who could use a special acknowledgment this week? Make a list of
at least five people and thank one special person every day!

Likely recipients:

Police officers or firefighters in your neighborhood, teachers, single parents, a secretary, a military family, your auto mechanic, lawyer, accountant, dental hygienist, doctor, a nursing home resident, or a coach. Consider not only those currently in your life, but perhaps a teacher or coach who was important to you.

Some ideas:

1.         Send a bouquet of flowers to a busy mom. Or offer a night of babysitting for a single parent or young couple.

2.          Offer support to a military family in your community. You might send a
note of comfort, help out with work around the house, or offer to take
someone to lunch. Some of these folks have been away from their loved ones
for many months and could really use your loving kindness.

3.         Speak to the boss of an administrative assistant who has provided you
with exceptional care, and let him or her know about how great you were
treated.

4.         Send a thank you card to someone who would least expect it like your
auto mechanic, lawyer, accountant, dental hygienist, or doctor or clergy person.

5.         Bring a box of chocolates to your post office and let the employees
know that you appreciate them (from what I'm told, they rarely get this
kind of acknowledgment).

6.         Leave a larger than normal tip for a favorite wait person.

7.         While driving, make it a point to stop and let others into traffic
(smile too!).

8.         Bring a box of brownies or other treats to your local fire or police station to thank
them for their protection and hard work throughout the year. Or, offer to bring dinner in for one of the fire crews, who often work 24 hour shifts.

9.         Write the words "thank you" on the bills you pay this month.

10.         Bring some homemade cookies to a local nursing home.

11.         Take a bouquet of flowers to the nursing home or hospital rehabilitation floor.

12.         Send a note of thanks to the favorite coach who takes good care of
your son or daughter.

13.        Thank your parents or grandparents for being special people in your life and/or the lives of your children.
14.        Shovel someone's walk or rake someone's leaves—just because.
15.        Consider making a special donation to a favorite charity—“In gratitude.”
16.        Look for ways to help others—volunteer at the soup kitchen, homeless shelter, public school or safe house.
17.        Become a “Big Brother or Big Sister.” Or participate in an adopt-a-grandparent program. Read with a child.
18.        Call someone you haven't spoke to in awhile.
19.        Send some “Thanksgiving cards” to family and friends.
20.        Consider the potential of turning a person's life around by the “power of
touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring.”

Whatever you decide to do, unleash your creative spirit and have some fun.
You'll probably discover that saying thank you and giving to others feels so good you'll want to do it throughout the year!


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The Prayer
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Gracious and loving God,

We thank you and praise you for the many gifts you so abundantly pour out upon us. We pause this week to bless those around us with a small token of our love and appreciation. Help us to bless others as we have been blessed. Guide us to be mindful of all that we have and to generously bestow our gratitude and blessings on those around us.

God's Blessings,

Minister Judy

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