11/22/2015 Pastor’s Message

November 30th, 2015 by Donna in Pastor Message Archive 2015

Ask Them for Their Story

On Veterans Day I heard a piece on National Public Radio about outreach to veterans who were having difficulty after they came home from war. Many veterans experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), others substance abuse; homelessness and unemployment often faces them as well. The speaker said: “Take a moment to ask them for their story. We’ve all got one.” How powerful and therapeutic this can be. Listen to the other. Hear their dreams and hopes, their struggles and the challenges they have. In telling their story, so much healing can begin.

I thought about this as we approach Thanksgiving Day this Thursday. We set aside a day to thank God for the blessings we enjoy. From the earliest days of our history, before we were formally a nation, we have gathered in a spirit of thanks. We surround ourselves with family and friends, and we lay out a huge meal. It is so much more than food, though, that brings us together. The ties of friendship and affection knit as one throughout our lives.

Remember that each person around that table, young and old, has a story. Ask them for it. Hear about what each person is thankful for – take those precious moments to listen, really listen, to each person. One will have a story of triumph and gratitude, another will simply say “I love Mommy and Daddy!,” still others will speak of a year of change and fidelity. Tell the story of someone not there – Grandma in heaven, and how she used to make that special dish, loved ones deployed half a world away, one living too far away to make it (Skype, anyone?).

This Thanksgiving, ask them for their story. Then tell the story of God’s fidelity in Jesus Christ, a perfect expression of thankfulness.

While you’re at it, pray for all veterans, especially those who are suffering, and all who wear the uniform of the United States of America.

In my own name, and that of Deacon Mike and Deacon Steve, I promise our prayers for a happy and holy day for you and your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving

Rev. Dennis J. Vincenzo

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