Pastor Mark’s eNote: Annual Thanksgiving Audit
As you prepare for this week of Thanksgiving, please complete the following information in full, following the directions included.
Line 1: Name (Last, First, Middle) ________________________
Line 2: Address _____________________________________
Line 3: Phone _______________________________________
Line 4: Age _________________________________________
Line 5: Next of Kin ___________________________________
Line 6: Religious Affiliation ______________________________
Line 7: Assets ________________________________________
Line 8: Employment ____________________________________
Line 9: Debts _________________________________________
Line 10: Debt Payment Plan ________________________________
Line 1: Name (Last, First, Middle)
The last name is important. It expresses your heritage. There’s history and identity in that name. If you’re married or widowed, male or female, you should list both names. You have been grafted onto another history.
First and middle names are important. When you were baptized, those names were spoken.
Were you named for someone? Is there a legacy attached to your name?
What does your name say about you? How do you feel about your name?
Line 2: Address
Where do you live? How are you shaped by the place you call home?
Where else have you lived? Where do you come from?
List here also all the places you are glad you’ve lived and the places you’re glad you’ve left behind.
Add one other thing: the “embrace of a loving God.” It’s a good place to live.
Line 3: Phone
Not your phone numbers, but the people you are glad you can phone. Who are the ones you count on? Who are the ones you NEED to call before this year ends or maybe even before this day ends?
Line 4: Age
I’ll answer this one for you. First, write down “present.” You live in the present age, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now.
But also write here the number of years you have been on the earth. Multiply that by the moments of awe and revelation, of beauty and love, of heartbreak and its painful lessons, of quiet and surprising joys. Multiply the years by your experiences of God’s grace upon grace.
Line 5: Next of Kin
The people who make you who you are, the ones you live with either in your home or your heart and from whom you gain a sense of connection and wholeness and joy.
With some you share DNA; with others you share memories, trust and love.
Line 6: Religious Affiliation
God has chosen to affiliate with you in Jesus Christ, who shares your humanity, your joy, your pain.
Look into the depth of your soul and find the image of God. Consider the lightness of forgiveness, the weight of communion, the power of the Spirit to create you anew and call you to something wondrous and greater than yourself.
Your church, by the way, should have been listed on line 5.
Line 7: Assets
Using no numbers or dollar signs, record those things of value to you.
Examples: faces, your garden, a song, the sound of rain in the morning, that box of old photos and the memories they capture, a drawing on your refrigerator, a joke a friend told you last week, the touch of a small hand in yours, etc.
Line 8: Employment
How do you employ your time?
With what do you fill your days?
What gives you joy or fulfillment?
How can you allow God to employ you for God’s kingdom?
Line 9: Debts
From whom do all blessings flow?
Also, who in your life has given you knowledge, joy, and understanding of life, support and care, an ability you cherish?
Line 10: Debt Payment Plan
Look at line 9. All those debts can only be repaid by sharing yourself with someone else, by giving of yourself for the one from whom all blessings flow.