Ending in Gratitude

elizabeth hunterElizabeth Hunter

Our month-long conversation is over and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the many people who have made the Gratitude Blog possible.

Rev. Marta Flanagan, our settled minister, framed the project for me and asked me to take responsibility for recruiting contributors and curating their submissions.

Greg Friedman, our Communications Associate, set up the blog and gave it space on the First Parish website and then did the actual posting each day.

Tina Schultz, our incomparable Director of Religious Education, has provided support and suggestions and inspiration throughout the month.

So many amazing members of our community have shared their words and thoughts with us, showing us gratitude from so many different angles and perspectives, and inspiring comments and off-line conversations.

My own work in gratitude this year is inspired by this amazing profile of Stephen Colbert that I read this summer.  In it he talks about somehow coming to be grateful for even the terrible and untimely death of his father and brothers.  There are many wonderful passages—I encourage you to read the whole thing—but I keep coming back to this one:

He lifted his arms as if to take in the office, the people working and laughing outside his door, the city and the sky, all of it. “And the world,” he said. “It’s so…lovely. I’m very grateful to be alive, even though I know a lot of dead people.”

His love—for life, for his family, for the wonderful and terrible experience of this crazy world—has inspired me to embrace the parts of my life that are difficult to celebrate, to open my heart and give thanks, even for the hard parts. Your posts and comments this month have reminded me of all the many ways that this love can manifest in our lives.

I am grateful to all of you for joining with me in community, for answering the call of love, and sharing how you live your faith through gratitude, this month and every month.

Thank you for being First Parish.

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