“May your Spirit strengthen us; so that we will be: strong in faith, discerning in proclamation, courageous in witness, persistent in good deeds.”
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Thanking and Recognizing Volunteers
Within a church, volunteers are members who use their talents or their background, to aid the church and fulfill its needs with service and actions. Without volunteers, our churches – especially in the educational arena – would be a shell of what they are. After all – it is the people who make the church! And they are not just volunteers, they are Christian ministers.
Have you put on the church calendar a time to thank and honor volunteers? Or if this is the beginning of the program year, will you dedicate or install these important ministers in the midst of your worshipping community on a Sunday? If not, check that calendar today!
2 Prayers for Volunteers
For Those Who Volunteer in Churches
Everlasting God, strengthen and sustain all those who volunteer in our churches;
that with patience and understanding they may love and care for your people;
and grant that together they may follow Jesus Christ,
offering to you their gifts and talents;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Adapted by Sharon Ely Pearson from the Collect at a New Ministry, Episcopal Book of Common Prayer)
May Your Spirit Strengthen Us
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, the privilege is ours to share
in the loving, healing, reconciling mission of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord,
in this age and wherever we are.
Since without you we can do no good thing, may your Spirit make us wise;
may your Spirit guide us; may your Spirit renew us;
may your Spirit strengthen us; so that we will be: strong in faith,
discerning in proclamation, courageous in witness, persistent in good deeds.
This we ask through the name of the Father. Amen.
(from the Church of the Province of the West Indies)
Need Volunteers? How to Call Volunteers
These two articles on Building Faith will help you with the process of volunteer “calling” volunteers. Identify your needs, pray for guidance, personally invite people.
5 Steps for Calling Volunteers by Sharon Ely Pearson
Need Church Volunteers? : A Step-by-Step Process that Works by Liz Perraud
Sharon Ely Pearson is a 30+ year Christian formation veteran, currently serving as an editor and the Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated. Wife, mother, soon-to-be-grandmother, and author, she enjoys connecting people with each other and the resources they need for growing in the knowledge and love of Jesus.
Prayer of Thanksgiving for Hyaets
Creative God, We give thanks for Hyaets. This ministry grew from a seedling, was nourished by two courageous, transformative couples, the Williams and the Jarrells, along with the Kelletts and took root in Enderly Park.
We give thanks for Hyaets. Because of this ministry of radical hospitality, countless young neighbors have most likely been drawn to its safe spaces rather than more destructive environments. Neighbors of all ages gained true neighbors, rather than people who want to come in and “fix” them.
In these safe places, there has been food. There has been community. There has been genuine care, including parameters that provided gentle structure. There has been creativity, listening and lots and lots of laughter. In these places, safety has been provided. In these places, mourning has been shared and celebrations have been multiplied. In these places, generosity has flourished like kudzu.
We give thanks for Hyaets. Because of this ministry, countless volunteers have come in and donated their time, talents, skills, and presence. They have received much more than they have given. And seeds of further understanding have often been planted in their souls.
We give thanks for Hyaets. Interns and staff have been given real life experiences among God’s people. This intentional community has grown and expanded through the Dunns, even to another safe space in another county.
We give thanks for Hyaets. There has been training. There have been retreats. There have been rides. There has been sharing. There has been the experience of planting and reaping, dancing and singing, creating and learning. Most of all, corny as it may sound, underneath, above, within, and all around, there has been presence and love. God’s love. Your love. Our Love.
Spirited God, may your transforming breath help us to bless what has been, be present to what is, and dance into your possibilities that wait for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer: Is there an official Thanksgiving Prayer?
A Thanksgiving prayer brings to mind a festive table filled with turkey, cranberries, and other traditional dishes. Families surround the table with mouths watering as young cousins eyeball pumpkin pies with whipped cream. Before the turkey is carved, the family joins hands with heads bowed and offers words of thanks for the meal spread before them.
There is no official ‘Thanks to God’ but prayers of gratitude have been offered since long before the 1620 American tradition began. It is the source by which the Pilgrims decided to begin with a prayer of thanks at this historic feast shared with the Wampanoag Indians. Years later, both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving history with their Thanksgiving proclamations.
Thanksgiving Prayer: Where did the idea come from?
For a way to express their thankfulness for survival and the first harvest, the deeply religious Pilgrims looked to the Bible. They found the celebrated Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), or Feast of Ingathering. The ingathering of Israelites (delivered from the desert of Sinai) and their harvest were celebrated in this feast and is the most joyous of all feasts still today (Leviticus 23).
Another reference to giving thanks is found in the account of ‘setting’ what Samuel called the Ebenezer Stone. This was a memorial to remind them to be grateful for God’s help during an attack from the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:10-12). Actually, the Bible speaks of giving thanks nearly from cover to cover. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
All early celebrations had one common theme — God. Thanksgiving was directed toward God, their Creator, Protector, and Provider. They believed that all good things ultimately came from Him as they do today. Other verses that include thanks can be read in Psalm 100:4, Psalm 105:1 and 1 Corinthians 15:57.
Thanksgiving Prayer: How to offer prayers of giving Thanks
Prayers are simply communication to God. They may be a memorized or formal prayer, or they may be words spoken simply but sincerely from the heart. God hears and honors them all (see 1 John 5:14).
A simple children’s prayer goes like this:
Thank you God for all that grows,
Thank you for the sky’s rainbows,
Thank you for the stars that shine,
Thank you for these friends of mine,
Thank you for the moon and sun,
Thank you God for all you’ve done! A Thanksgiving Day prayer, by Brian F. King, says:
O Lord, with humble hearts we pray
Thy blessing this Thanksgiving Day
And ask that at table place,
Where grateful folk say words of grace,
That Thou will come to share the yield
Thy bounty gave to farm and field.
We pray thy love will bless, O Lord,
Each hearth, each home, each festive board;
And that Thy peace will come to stay
Where candles glow, Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Prayer: Writing your own Thanksgiving prayer
Do you desire to lead your family in a Thanksgiving prayer? Consider these questions as a way of preparing for your prayer:
What were the major events that took place in your family this year?
Did your family grow in number, through weddings or births?
Did your family experience hard times? If so, consider what you learned from each situation.
Who are the members of your family? Name one quality that you’re thankful for in each person.
Learn More About Praising God.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions