For my church peeps (feel free to participate long-distance and join the Project)
The Gratitude Project
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I am asking the congregation to participate in a Gratitude Project. Each week we are invited to consider how we express our gratitude. So often, it seems as if we are asked to cultivate gratitude, yet how might we be invited to express it? on Sundays in worship, we speak my colleague the Rev. Lynn Ungar’s words: By the work of our hands and the work of our hearts, our love is made real. We are called to make love real in the world by saying thanks– not just in our journals and private prayers, but in active and participatory ways. Perhaps you acknowledge and thank a stranger next week or show your gratitude to them simply by allowing them the primo parking spot. Then go on our Facebook page and tell us about it- post the selfie of you with your grocery store cashier or your bank teller or your food pantry volunteer. You could be so bold as to tell them about UUCFM and our Gratitude Project. Not on facebook? Local to Fort Myers? Print out the picture; make a sketch; type up the story and post on our Expressions of Gratitude boards at the church in Hobart Hall on a Wednesday community dinner night. Ask someone with a smartphone to take a quick video of your Expression testimonial to send to the office for our Facebook page and maybe even for a Sunday morning video.
We will invite reflection upon the following questions in a weekly progression (starting tomorrow, Monday October 27):
This week, how did you express….
week 1: gratitude to strangers
week 2: gratitude to friends and family
week 3: gratitude to church
week 4: gratitude to self
As you participate, you are invited to grab a Thank You sticker from the narthex, Hobart Hall, or the church office.
Some weeks will be easier than other weeks. Perhaps an Expression of Gratitude to a stranger/ to a particular friend or family member/ to the church/ to oneself will be challenging. Be gentle with yourself and also take this as an opportunity to learn and grow while being held by others who are trying the same thing. I would love to see everyone in worship wearing one, showing that everyone is on board with the Gratitude Project. If you aren’t local, I will mail you a sticker! Send me your address (comment below) and you can feel the love and thanks from afar.
Cheers and THANKS!