Inspirational Gratitude

By Claire Chinn, Minister of Children & Mission


This is the season that we are inundated with everything surrounding gratitude. Thanksgiving allows us that moment to pause and really dig into what we are truly thankful for—not just the easy answers, but what truly inspires us. That sense of inspirational gratitude is what I wanted our children to experience this month


One Wednesday night we went on a gratitude walk. Before we left, I told the kids that as we walked, they should talk about everything they are thankful for—and then use their eyes and ears to spot things that make them happy.


We made three stops: the gym, the sanctuary, and the columbarium. The columbarium might have seemed like an “interesting” stop to make, but that space holds stories, lessons, and goodness that we can all be thankful for. It is a place that reminds us that we are called to be thankful always, not just in happy moments.


As we walked into the sanctuary, the Ritz Chamber Players were practicing for their upcoming concert. Our children slowly walked in and listened with awe. We sat and listened for a second and started talking about all that we can be thankful for in that space. They said the stained-glass Jesus makes them feel strong, the music makes them happy (and they sometimes laugh when the organ plays big loud notes), and their friends make them excited to be here. Their answers made me thankful for this group of kids.


But as we stayed in the sanctuary, they started joking and laughing with each other, sharing stories of funny things that had happened. In that moment I sat back and realized that our children are comfortable in our sanctuary; they feel at home there. In that moment I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving as I watched our children meet the Holy in their own way, in their own time.


I am not sure there is anything more I could be thankful for—to see our children find home in our sanctuary while laughing and giggling together, forming community tied up in the boundless love of God. And what an inspiration that is.